10 Sep 2012

Weird Tax Fact #8

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Did you know?

It would be difficult to come up with a more asinine activity to tax than urinating. Nevertheless, Roman Emperor Vespasian pushed such a tax through during his time on the throne (AD 69-79), applying it to “all of Rome’s many public toilets.” More specifically, the tax itself was paid by toilet operators for the collection of urine from public toilets. Urine was evidently quite a cash cow during ancient Roman times, as these toilet operators often sold it “at great profit to tanners and cleaners who utilized the liquid’s high ammonia content.” Know Your Money quips that maybe re-instituting this “admirable recycling of waste products” could go a long way toward the crusade for sustainable business practices that is currently in vogue.