16th amendment ratified, Feb. 3, 1913
This week in 1913, taxes became more certain for Americans when the 16th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution was ratified. A Feb. 4, 1913, article in The Waterloo Times-Tribune of Waterloo, Iowa, reported on
“Direct taxes upon the incomes of citizens of the United States, whether derived from idle capital or
from the conduct of business, were made possible today by the ratification of the 16th amendment to the federal
constitution. Delaware, Wyoming and New Mexico, endorsing the income tax amendment through their respective
legislatures, completed a list of 38 states that have approved it, two more than the three-fourths necessary for
its final adoption.”
The article also speculated on the tax rates Congress would set in subsequent legislation.
“Its exact terms have not been decided upon, but, it is believed, it will exempt all incomes below $4,000 or
$5,000; and will provide a tax of one per cent upon the majority of personal incomes that do not run to an
Read about efforts to repeal the 16th amendment
A May 31, 1951, article in The Cedar Rapids Tribune of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, explored the debate over replacing the income tax with a national sales tax. AFL in fight to block repeal
An April 30, 1958, article in the Tucson Daily Citizen of Tucson, Ariz., described one grassroots effort against the income tax. Group to repeal U.S. tax