Story: Taxes

War tax (1st of 2)

War tax

‘Tightwad’ gets hit hard in the pocket by a shell knocking out his roll of pound notes in this 1915 cover of the New Zealand Observer. In the decades before the First World War the top rate of income tax had crept up to 6.65%, then in three years it rose to 37.5%. The increase was largely to fund the war effort. Income tax revenue rose eleven-fold over the four years of the war, surpassing customs duties as the single most important tax.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-312-1-080
Cartoon by William Blomfield

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Goldsmith, 'Taxes - War, depression and increased taxes – 1914 to 1935', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 May 2022)

Story by Paul Goldsmith, published 11 Mar 2010, updated 2 Sep 2016