4 Annotations

vincent  •  Link

located on "thence to the Excise Office in Broad Street," (july 4th)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

After the Great Fire of 1666, the Excise Office moved to Bloomsbury Sq. (L&M)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Some highlights on the source of funds for the Excise Office over the years. More information from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excise

In defense of excises on strong drink, Adam Smith wrote: "It has for some time past been the policy of Great Britain to discourage the consumption of spirituous liquors, on account of their supposed tendency to ruin the health and to corrupt the morals of the common people."

Samuel Johnson was less flattering in his 1755 dictionary: “EXCI'SE. n.s. ... A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid.”

Monies raised through excise may be earmarked for redress of specific social costs commonly associated with the product or service being taxed. Tobacco tax revenues, for example, might be spent on government anti-smoking campaigns.

Excise duties or taxes often serve political as well as financial ends. Public safety and health, public morals, environmental protection, and national defense are all rationales for the imposition of an excise.

Excise (often under different names, especially before the 15th century, usually consisting of several separate laws, each referring to the individual item being taxed) has been known to be applied to substances which would in today's world seem rather unusual, such as salt, paper, and coffee. In fact, salt was taxed as early as the 2nd century, and as late as the 20th.

Many different reasons have been given for the taxation of such substances, but have usually – if not explicitly – revolved around the scarcity and high value of the substance, with governments clearly feeling entitled to a share of the profits traders make on these expensive items. Such would the justification of salt tax, paper excise, and even advertisement duty have been

The window tax was introduced after controversy arose around the introduction of income tax, which was considered to be a breach of privacy. The rationale behind this was that the grandeur of a person's house, and hence the number of windows, was a visible sign of their wealth – which could, furthermore, not be hidden as income can. One way people got around this problem was to brick up their windows. In the case of poor people this was a big social problem, as they would often force themselves to live in the dark in order to avoid paying this tax.

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