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Is the Iron Law of Taxation Made of Tinfoil in Arlington?

An editorial posted at Virginia News Source today begins with a summary of the peasant tax revolts in France during the 1630's. For example, it notes that "One unfortunate young clerk working for a tax collector was cut into pieces by enraged peasants and parts of his body displayed as a warning to revenue officials." While the king's response was to crush the peasants' revolt, the death penalty was decreed for anyone spreading rumors of new taxes. The lesson, though, was that both the masses and kings lived in fear of higher taxes. The editorial then goes on to argue that the Iron Law of Taxation holds true even today. We're not so sure that law holds as strongly in Arlington County, however. As we noted yesterday, since 2000, the per capita income of Arlington residents has increased 19.1%, but the taxes on the average residential homeowner is up 94% over that same period. More surprisingly, there is no palpable sign of a tax revolt although sparks of a rebellion were seen on April 16 when the County Board approved the FY2006 budget and set the real estate tax rates for the year.


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