Friday, April 26, 2013

A Brief History of Property Tax

Taxes have long been with us. To quote:
The earliest known tax records, dating from approximately six thousand years B.C., are in the form of clay tablets found in the ancient city-state of Lagash in modern day Iraq, just northwest of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The king used a tax system called bala, which meant “rotation.” The assessors would focus on one area of the citystate, assessing and taxing one area each month, thereby breaking down the arduous task into more manageable components. (This is a lesson that we have used in present day Boston by not attempting to focus on all property in a revaluation year. Instead, we focus great attention on the valuation of retail and industrial property during one year, following up the next year with apartments or other sub-sets of property. This allows a thorough review of the various components of value and ultimately leads to better assessments.) In Lagash taxes were very low, but in a time of crisis or war the tax rate was ten percent of all goods, which were primarily composed of food. (Read entire post.)
Share

2 comments:

Peter Prasad said...

The tax brat chased Jake Knight down in the hospital. He refused to sign anything. Find out why in Goat-Ripper coming in June. About wine & cheese & murder. If you e-book buy, then I can pay last year's taxes.
Not much for a tent on an acre.

julygirl said...

Hmmmmm....Death and Taxes....just 2of many legacies to the Western World from the Middle East.