07 Aug 2012

Today’s pundits often remark that there is seemingly nothing our government wont tax. Never was this more true, however, than during Peter the Great’s tenure as Tsar of Russia. No stranger to odd and bizarre taxes (we’re talking about the man who taxed drinking water and beehives), Peter’s most absurd proposal of all became law in 1705 and levied taxes on men for the great sin of growing beards. Peter’s rationale for this impromptu tax was “coercing his countrymen into dropping archaic hirsutist customs”, thereby bringing them up to speed with “the clean-shaven citizens of modernized Western Europe.” Indeed, Peter was more fond of these types of taxes than perhaps any ruler of his time. Know Your Money reports that he even established an entire committee for the purpose of dreaming up wacky new taxes for Peter to implement.

Source: www.billshrink.com