Friday, December 14, 2012

Don’t Tax Me!



At least 98% of us would like to be taxed less; and if we were, some of us would put our tax savings back into the economy by patronizing our local stamp dealers, who also would like to be taxed less.  Well, it’s not likely to happen if you live in a country that engages in endless wars of choice that serve mainly to fuel the avarice of defense industry contractors.

Like the 98%, the advertising postcard below could not escape the tax collectors either:






Sent on January 9, 1925, from Molsheim in the Alsace to a hardware store in Ettelbrück, the printed advertisement on the back introduces the company’s representative and boasts of the gold medals it has earned.  Unfortunately, despite the gold medals, the card is underfranked five centimes, as the 10-centime Pasteur definitive is insufficient to pay the 15-centime postage rate for postcards sent as printed matter. 

Upon arrival the next day in Ettelbrück, the five-centime deficiency was rounded up to the 30-centime minimum charge then in effect.  The postman has written (in French) that the addressee refused the card because of the 30-centime tax.  So be it!  The tax was cancelled, as the nicely struck red oval déboursé mark indicates.

And then the underfranked card was returned to Molsheim [blue crayon:  “retour”], arriving on January 12, 1925, where the sender was required to pay the 30-centime tax that had gone uncollected in Ettelbrück. 

Little did the addressee know that their tax resistance would produce this wonderful multi-colored piece of postal history!

Here’s another nice multi-colored example:




Although the postcard rate to Luxembourg was 20c, this commercial postcard, sent from Brussels on January 15, 1924, was franked only with two Belgian definitives totaling 13c.  The 7c deficiency was doubled and rounded up to 15c tax with the first and second issue postage due stamps postmarked Luxembourg-Ville, January 17, 1924. 

However, the postman has indicated in manuscript that the addressee refused the card on January 16th.  Therefore the tax was cancelled [red oval “Débourse” mark”] and the card returned to Brussels [rectangle: “Retour”], where the 30c minimum tax was imposed on January 19th. 

Presumably Luxembourg should also have applied the minimum tax rather than 15c as the 30c minimum between the two countries was still in effect.  But in this instance, it didn’t matter. 


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