Story: Taxes

Greengrocers, 1920s

Greengrocers, 1920s

Fresh fruit is displayed inside this greengrocer’s shop. At this time there was no direct sales tax – consumers paid tax indirectly on imported items such as tobacco which attracted customs duties. Petrol tax ensured that transported items were more expensive. In 1933 the government faced a budget shortfall so it introduced a sales tax of 5% overnight. The tax was not applied to all products and there were exceptions for most food items.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-037494; G

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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 22 May 2022)

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