Property Tax Quote

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania

I came across an interesting quote in a book I am reading called Albion's Seed (by David Hackett Fischer) related to an outcry against a mere penny per pound, or 4/10 of one percent, proposed tax increase in the province of Pennsylvania in 1692. What a contrast to the complacency of Americans over the conservative estimate of $3,000 of additional debt per person to pay for the recently signed ObamaCare bill, and nobody knows how much in taxes it will add. I traced the quote to this petition to the Assembly in Philadelphia about a property tax:
The thing therefore, touching which we at present give you the trouble of these Lines, is a certain Bill, promulgated for the Assessing and Leavying One penny per pound out of the supposed value of every man's estate, and two Shillings per head for those not otherwise rated, which great tax, as it will doubtless amount to a great sum of money, for which we know no present deep the impression it will make in our Estates, much of which...lies dead in lands, of little value or profit at present, tho' liable to be highly rated at the wills and Pleasures of the Promulgators very grievous and greatly discouraging at to us, and as it may almost Ruin many at you will find, that if you once Confirm the said Bill, it will be very Prejudicial and Detremental to the Free-men...besides also, you will find it...of dangerous consequence, and an ill president for the future, for as the people grow in wealth, and the Governours (sic) in power, so shall the tax be laid heavier. 1
1 The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol 38 (Philadelphia, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1914) from Google Books p. 495-496


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