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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Our Tax Dollars

Make No Little Plans

 

— Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —

 
Our Tax Dollars Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 7, 2012
1. Our Tax Dollars Marker
Inscription.  
While only Congress — the people's elected representatives — can impose taxes and decide how they are spent, the Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, ensures those taxes are collected fairly and efficiently.

The IRS building reminds citizens what their tax dollars buy. In the words of the great jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes engraved over the building's entrance, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." Revenue collected by the IRS pays for everything from national defense and highways to weather forecasts and food safety inspections.

Louis A. Simon, superintendent of the architectural section of the Treasury Department, designed the IRS building to be the least ornate in the Federal Triangle because it houses a bureau, rather than a cabinet-level department of government. The building's neoclassical style is similar to its neighbors', but its only embellishments are four eagles atop shields carved in limestone panels flanking the entrance.

Congress enacted the first income tax to pay expenses of the Civil War, and in 1862 President Lincoln appointed a commissioner of internal revenue
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 7, 2012
2. Back of Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
to collect it. A decade later the income tax was repealed and not revived until 1913, when the 16th Amendment to the Constitution gave Congress authority to enact a permanent income tax. The first Form 1040 was issued that year, and Americans began paying one percent tax personal incomes greater than $3,000, and six percent on incomes greater than $500,000.

Other forms of revenue collected by the IRS include corporate, estate, excise, gift, and employment taxes.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 13.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceLaw EnforcementWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1862.
 
Location. 38° 53.54′ N, 77° 1.66′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on Constitution Avenue Northwest (U.S. 1/50) east of 12th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Colossal Head 4 (replica) (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Log Called Home (about 400 feet
Our Tax Dollars Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
3. Our Tax Dollars Marker
away); Developing Sustainable Practices (about 400 feet away); We Need You! (about 400 feet away); "For Country, for Community!" (about 400 feet away); Cedar of Lebanon (about 500 feet away); Solomon G. Brown (about 500 feet away); Keeping It Green (about 500 feet away).
 
IRS Building Sign image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
4. IRS Building Sign
The IRS Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, April 7, 2012
5. The IRS Building
Entrance to the IRS Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
6. Entrance to the IRS Building
Note the shields and eagles mentioned in the text of the marker. A portion of the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote is visible above the entrance.
The IRS Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
7. The IRS Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 451 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 12, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 16, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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May. 25, 2022