Tax on the doors and windows
The French tax on the doors and windows
It belongs to the “four old women” Direct taxation, with the Land tax, the movable , and the Patente (all three established by the Constituante). Its plate was established on the number and the size of the doors and windows. It did not touch as well as the owners, and introduced a kind of proportionality, easiest paying also more taxes. Its creation was accompanied by that of another tax of the same type, the Impôt on the parks and gardens.
It was the modern version of the antique tax of the Romains, the Ostiarium , which related to the doors and the columns.
It did not touch the openings of the buildings with agricultural vocation, nor the openings intended to air the cellars (ventilators) or practiced in the roofs (attic windows, fanlight). The public buildings were not imposed either. This tax was shown to push with housing construction unhealthy, with very small openings, therefore dark and badly ventilated, and it led to the judgment of many openings, like the destruction, by the same owners them, of the mullions which partagaient certain windows into four, which increased the tax substentiellement.
As it led to a double taxation with the tax on the land frame, that it was of a weak report/ratio (60 million per annum with its suppression), and under the influence of the hygienists, its suppression was obtained in 1926.
The British tax on the windows
Great Britain also knew a tax similar to, but which related only to the windows.
Created in 1696 under the king Guillaume III, it was conceived to be a wealth tax. Indeed, larger were the houses, more they had windows, therefore more their owner paid tax.
It had architectural consequences however opposite with the French tax. The easiest class of the United Kingdom used the tax on the windows as reference to determine which was rich and which was not it. Thus an architecture developed multiplying the occasions of windows . In extreme cases, pretenses were posed above the load-bearing walls, simply by ostentation and to be member of the class to the capacity (Lord).
The tax on the windows was not taken any more after 1851.
The Spanish tax on the doors and windows
In Spain, this tax was removed in 1910.
Evocation in the literature
In the first book of its novel the Poor wretches, who is held at the beginning of the XIXe century, Victor Hugo puts in the mouth of the bishop of Worthy Mgr. Myriel following words (at the time of a sermon):
- “My very dear brothers, my good friends, there are in France thirteen hundred and twenty thousand houses of peasants who have only three openings, eighteen hundred and seventeen thousand which have two openings, the door and a window, and finally three hundred and forty six thousand huts which have only one opening, the door. And that, because of a thing which one calls the tax of the doors and windows. Put to me the poor families, old women, small children, in these home, and see the fevers and the diseases. Alas! God gives the air to the men, the law theirs sells. ”
- the text of the law on Wikisource
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