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Did You Know: Income Tax Wasn’t A ‘Thing’ Until the Civil War

Maybe you will like Lincoln a little bit less after learning that he’s the guy that introduced income tax to the United States.

WednesdIRS_Logo201504ay, April 15 is tax day in the United States when day individual tax returns are due. In the early history of America, most revenues were collected from tariffs and duties on liquor, tobacco, sugar, and legal documents.

It wasn’t until the Civil War that an income tax was imposed to help keep the union together and finance the War Between The States. Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861 which levied a 3% flat rate income tax on those with an annual income of $800 or more.  It was repealed and replaced with the Revenue Act of 1862 which implemented a progressive scale of 3% on annual incomes over $600 and 5% on annual incomes above $10,000.

The Revenue Act of 1864, which increased the income tax rates established in 1862, was repealed in 1873. However, Congress established the first peacetime income tax with the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894. In 1895 the Supreme Court struck down the income tax provision in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., Which was how things remained 1913, when the 16th Amendment permitted a federal income tax again.

This week at the Nyack Library, you can learn some more about Mr. Lincoln — in a less taxing story.

Here’s the week at a glance
at the Nyack Library.


  • FREE AARP Tax Aid, bring 2 forms of i.d. – one must be a photo i.d., 10a
  • Universal Class:  Basic Computers 101, Registration required, 2:30p
  • FREE Assistance with NYS Health Insurance Programs, 5p


  • Fiction Writers Workshop, Registration required, 11a
  • Cuentos, Canciones y Artesania, 1p
  • Poetry Bonanza!, Registration required, 4:30p
  • Nyack Toastmasters, 6:45p


  • Universal Class:  Improve Your Memory 101, Registration required, 10a
  • Individual Career Counseling Sessions w/Eileen Grimm, 6:30p
  • Lincoln’s Assassination Program, Registration required, 7p


  • Preschool Block Play, 11a
  • Family Book Discussions, Registration required, 6:30p


Teen Choice Movie, 3:30p


Lincoln’s Assassination Program, Wed at 7p

Local historian John Muranelli gives an hour-long talk on the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death at the hand of John Wilkes Booth.  Muranelli’s research includes visits Ford’s Theater and the National Archives in Washington, DC.  and his presentation includes building models, diagrams and photographs.

Kids: Do The Write Thing, Sat at 10:30a

Creative Writing Series for Grades 4 – 6: Do you like to write stories? Work with acclaimed Young Adult author, Carolyn MacCullough, on developing plot and strong characters who come alive on the page. Explore plot twists, use of descriptive language and voice. Guaranteed to spark your creativity.

Must register for series and attend all three sessions. Email Claudia Uccellani or call (845) 358-3370 x228 to register.

Have a question or a fun fact you want to know? We’re looking for suggestions for our weekly Did You Know fact. Write to info@NyackNewsAndViews with your suggestions.

Did You Know comes to you each Monday on NyackNewAndViews, sponsored by the Nyack Library.


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