History of Property Taxes

Property taxes have been around since the beginning of time. They’re an unfortunate part of life that people have come to expect and live with. Taxes have created a source of revenue for local governments who need the funds to provide services to their communities such as an education system and emergency services. Throughout history we have many examples of property taxes and how they’ve come to be what they are today. Our property tax consultants are going to take you on a little trip back in time to explore property taxes through different civilizations.

Property Taxes in Ancient Times

According to expert Richard Henry Carlson, some of the earliest known property taxes were written on clay tablets in roughly 6,000 B.C. Many of these tablets are from ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Persia, and Babylon. In Egyptian history particularly, we see where property and sales tax were of significant importance to the functioning of society. In modern times, though we may not enjoy paying them, property taxes keep our communities afloat by helping pay for services that most people require.

Medieval Property Taxes

In Medieval times, the way property taxes were determined changed dramatically. The Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215. Among other things, this document limited the king’s power to raise taxes without the consent and approval of other nobles. Prior to the signing of the Magna Carta, King John had been raising taxes in a desperate measure to fund his wars abroad. The Magna Carta put a stop to this and even offered churches and extremely poor people the opportunity to avoid paying any property taxes. If you weren’t in either of those categories, people who could afford it hired property tax professionals to help them shift assets around so they could avoid paying the tax on it.

Colonial American Property Taxes

When the pilgrims established a colony in Massachusetts, they agreed to pay property taxes to the church to help fund the education of their children and keep religion at the center of their lives. Years later, taxation without representation in British parliament spurred the Revolutionary War and fundamentally changes the American tax system. Over time, property taxes evolved to become what they are today. Each state has the ability to determine and change property taxes the way they see fit. As Dallas property tax consultants, we specialize in commercial property taxes and keep abreast of changes in the local tax code to save our clients the most money we can.

You Need a Professional Tax Consultant

Property taxes are incredibly confusing and frustrating. Don’t leave your property taxes to chance without talking a property tax consultant first. We understand how complicated tax codes are and that’s why we’re here. Contact The Hegwood Group for more information!

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