In the 18th and 19th centuries, England, Scotland, and Great Britain taxed windows. This was an ingenious way to tax the wealthy without calling it a tax on the affluent. While some bricked their windows, it led to a fair and less arbitrary income tax on rich citizens.
Other crazy taxes include Denmark’s $110 per cow because of their methane byproducts. Alabama’s casinos complain of the ten-cent playing card tax for a deck of cards purchased in the state. Chicago charges an extra 5.25% tax on candy and sugary soft drinks. Amounting to $29 million per year, France taxes online ads on Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
However, no matter how unfair taxes may seem, our government expects us to pay them. God does as well.
In Mark 12:13-17, Jewish leaders came to Jesus and asked a question about the Imperial tax to try and trap him so they could bring a charge of disloyalty to the Roman government. In a stroke of genius, Jesus told them to, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus went a step further. The tax collectors came to Peter and asked if Jesus paid the temple tax (a tax owed by every Israeli male over 20. Exodus 30:11-15). Peter told them yes. After they left, Jesus reminded Peter that because he was Lord of the Sanctuary, he did not owe the temple tax. He did pay though to avoid any misunderstanding about his loyalty to the temple.