Did freed slaves in the US pay taxes once they were freed and found paid work?

Did freed slaves who found paying jobs pay taxes like normal citizens, I am talking of ex slaves in the US in the 1800's.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Very few - if any.

    They probably did not make enough money.

    In order to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War, the United States government imposed its first personal income tax, on August 5, 1861, as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872). Other income taxes followed, although an 1895 United States Supreme Court ruling, Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., held that taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest, and rents were direct taxes on property, and therefore had to be apportioned. Since apportionment of income taxes is impractical, this had the effect of prohibiting a federal tax on income from property. Due to the political difficulties of taxing individual wages without taxing income from property, a federal income tax was impractical from the time of the Pollock decision until the time of ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment (below).

    In response, Congress proposed the Sixteenth Amendment (ratified by the requisite number of states in 1913), which states:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    As the Supreme Court held in Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, 240 U.S. 1 (1916), the amendment did not expand the federal government's existing taxing power but rather removed any requirement for apportionment of income taxes (meaning tax on profit or gain from any source) among the states on the basis of population (i.e., regardless of whether the tax was deemed direct or indirect).

    Source(s): Wikipedia
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    All citizens who earned money had to pay taxes when they reached the relevant income level where a tax applied.

    The slaves freed after the Civil War found this out - they also found they now had to pay for accommodation and food. (Whatever the quality of accommodation and food supplied by their former masters, at least they hadn't had to pay for it!)

    By the way, look at how you phrased your comment under the question!

    What made a freed slave anything but a 'normal citizen' - outside States which managed to keep some restrictive rules in place till the 1960s?

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. If they were lucky enough to have an income that would stretch beyond basic food and rent. There was a small class of people descended from slaves who ran their own businesses. Most often these were boarding houses, or small shops, or bars, or bordellos. This black merchant class was pretty small, however, and often put out of business by competing whites with political influence.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    why would you think they wouldn't.

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