Posts Tagged ‘Confederacy’

h1

10% ag tax “a relic of barbarism”

November 29, 2009

In the 800s, Islam enshrined the 10 percent ushr tax rate on farm yields in the Hadith.  The tax may have been appropriate for the Middle East in the Ninth Century, but it hasn’t worked out so well since then.

As I have pointed out on Money Jihad several times, my concerns about the ushr are its use to fund jihad (especially as ushr collections on poppy yields by the Taliban in Afghanistan today), its imposition by religious fiat rather than by the consent of the governed, its excessive penalties for non-payment, the difficulty it presents for making accurate assessments of crop yields after expenses, its discriminatory impact against farmers, and its overall anachronistic nature.

As it turns out, the America South had its own brief flirtation with a harvest tax during the Civil War.  Beset with increasing war debts, the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger proposed a 10 percent in-kind tax on agriculture.  The Confederate Congress added various rates for income and ad valorem taxes to constitute the Tax Act of April 24, 1863.  Given the legislation’s focus on the crop tax, the act was usually called the “Tithe Tax.”  The following is a remarkable passage from Richard Cecil Todd’s 1954 book, Confederate Finance:

Read the rest of this entry ?

Advertisements