Pecunia non olet or Money doesn't stink! is a Latin saying. During the 1st century AD, Roman emperor Vaspasian placed a tax on urine. The buyer(s) of the urine paid the tax. The urine from public urinals was sold as an essential ingredient for several chemical processes e.g. it was used in tanning and also by launderers as a source of ammonia to clean and whiten woolen togas. I personally would not want that done to my toga. Therefore, those who obtained valuable urine from collectors were charged a tax.
Throughout history there have been many strange, unusual, and weird taxes (read about the history of taxes). Many of them were implemented to raise additional revenue, while the purpose of others was to promote social change.
The federal tax code was 400 pages in 1913. In 2010 it was 70,000 pages. Who has time to read 70000 pages a year on taxes? The Bible has about 700,000 words. The number of words in the Federal Tax Code: 3,700,000. The federal tax code is over five times longer than the Bible.
After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king, but Rehoboam was a vain and foolish man.
Look at the Biblical account of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, who inherited the throne over the united kingdom of Israel in the north and Judah in the south (1 Kings 12). When he came to power the northern 10 tribes of Israel were on the verge of seceding. He was the last king to lead a united kingdom.
To pay for decades of his high-cost building projects, Solomon had levied high taxes. The northern tribes, with Jeroboam of the tribe of Ephraim newly returned from exile as a principal leader among them, asked for an easier tax burden as Rehoboam's first royal decision. They wanted a
revived economy with personal finances restored.
Rehoboam had a good shot at becoming a great leader. He started off well by seeking the advice of the elders who served Solomon. They wisely counseled that the northerners were right and that lower taxes would be healthy for all. They said that the king would be loved for being so generous. He then asked for advice from his younger peers. They gave the opposite and ultimately fatal advice to increase taxes by leaps and bounds. It was far beyond what the people were willing to bear.
Peer pressure remains a problem today.
Jeroboam, a “mighty man of valor,” warned Rehoboam not to make the same mistake his father had made by taxing them heavily to finance a luxurious lifestyle (I Kings 12:3-4). Rehoboam defied the advice to lighten the yoke of oppression: