The Window Tax

This entry was posted on 10th May 2011

You would be forgiven for thinking it was utter madness that you could possibly be taxed on the number of glazed windows in your home? Some people might not be able to afford such luxuries and have to board up their windows. Total darkness, how terrible would that be? Well, this was the crazy reality during the 1700’s. If you look at some older properties it is sometimes possible to see bricked up window spaces that would have previously been glazed to avoid the Window tax. The idea Window tax was circulated in the last 1600's but there was such strong opposition the permanent tax wasn’t introduced until 1842. The bigger your house in those days, the more windows you had and the more tax you paid. Window tax was abolished during the winter of 1850-1851 but then bought back as a tax for inhabited houses. So if you think Window tax what about brick tax? Brick tax was introduced in the UK in 1784 to help pay for the wars in the American Colonies.  Taxes were charged per thousand bricks, and increased year after year, putting small brick makers out of business and forcing builders to use timer and weather board again.  Brick Tax was stopped in 1850 due to its effect on the industrial economy.

And finally…

“Oh Mary, you’re wallpaper is absolutely gorgeous! Where did you get it?”

It’s 1712 and Queen Anne has decided that all those fortunate enough to have printed, patterned or painted wallpaper should be taxed for the pleasure. To avoid the wallpaper tax it was possible to use buy plain none taxable wallpaper then have an artist create their own beautiful designs on it. I don’t know how that evaded being taxed but it did. Wallpaper tax was abolished in 1836. So thank your lucky stars today we don’t have glass, window, brick or wallpaper tax, if we did I don’t think our homes would certainly look very different indeed.

This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with wallpaper, window, windows