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I never realized how nefarious the $200 tax stamp was.

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by DHJenkins, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Well-Known Member

    $200 doesn't really seem like much now, but I was watching a show yesterday and came across a startling fact while doing some research.

    The stamps have been $200 since 1934!:what:

    To bring that home, the average yearly wage in the US in 1934 was $1,600 and the average house price was $5,700.

    That's about 1.5 months wages for the stamp - at a time when a new gun was less than $30.
  2. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Well-Known Member

    Let's hope they don't get the idea to adjust it for inflation
  3. MErl

    MErl Well-Known Member

    Yep, it was meant to tax the items into oblivion. We should consider ourselves lucky (maybe) that it has not been revised.
  4. vamo

    vamo Well-Known Member

    Yep and thats a big reason NFA items are becoming more and more popular inflation has brought it to a downright reasonable price.

    Edit: zoom6zoom, better believe its been talked about but fortunately our politicians don't have the stomach for it.
  5. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    They're scared to touch the NFA any tampering with it could result in an unwelcome rider.
  6. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    I'll go ahead and give you the next epiphany: Every $ cost associated with the ownership, possession, or bearing of arms is really only there to make keeping and bearing arms prohibitive.
  7. Mr.510

    Mr.510 Well-Known Member

    For grins I put $200 in 1934 dollars into an inflation calculator and it says that's $3,555.97 in 2014 dollars.
  8. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    +1. Bright ideas for laws from the Brady Bunch/CSGV/VPC/MAIG/etc tend to also add to the time involved and sheer hassle factor of legally buying & owning firearms. I'm left with the inescapable conclusion that it's not a coincidence.
  9. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Well-Known Member

    Inflation isn't a very good marker. To put that $3555 dollars (vs $200) into perpective, the avg car price in 1934 was $650.

    In 2014, the average car price is $32,000.

    If you tie the two together, it's more like $9,800.
  10. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    The reason $200 was selected was because that was the price of the Thompson submachinegun on the market. A "Tommy Gun" without the fancy "Cutts Compensator" on the barrel was $180.00 and WITH the Cutts it sold for $200.00.
    It effectively doubled the price.
    The Tommy gun was never a commercial success because of the fact of the price, even without the obnoxious tax. As you say a new gun was maybe $30.00. Plus the fact that the gun chewed through ammo like crazy; most people were pretty happy with a good lever action, bolt gun, pump shotgun, or even a semiauto rifle which were beginning to show up on the market. Few people wanted to pay that grand sum for a heavy, clunky gun that would be also expensive to feed.
    It was really WW2 and the military's need for a submachinegun that saved the Thompson from the ash-heap of history.
  11. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Yup, it's the only tax I know that a government hasn't raised.
  12. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Ok everyone shut up before someone gets a "bright idea" to raise more taxes on us. :)
  13. MistWolf

    MistWolf Well-Known Member

    There has already been plenty of talk of raising the tax and yes, the statists would love to price firearms ownership out of reach of the average citizen
  14. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    Unlikely to happen
  15. Louca

    Louca Well-Known Member

    Actually, the consumer price index (from which he got his inflated price) is really a pretty good indicator since it takes more than one thing into account when considering relative cost burden or buying power. I would rely on it.
  16. Theohazard

    Theohazard Well-Known Member

    For many people just getting into Title II firearms, $200 seems like an awful lot. But just point out to them how much it was back in 1934, and things change perspective.
  17. mooosie

    mooosie Well-Known Member

    How would you feel about a tax to go to church or to speak or to exercise any other right
  18. AWorthyOpponent

    AWorthyOpponent Well-Known Member

    The tax shouldn't be there to begin with, but that is another thread...

    In 2013, the relative value of $200.00 from 1934 ranges from $2,760.00 to $50,200.00.

    A simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is $3,480.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying $200 by the percentage increase in the CPI from 1934 to 2013.

    This may not be the best answer.

    The best measure of the relative value over time depends on if you are interested in comparing the cost or value of a Commodity , Income or Wealth , or a Project . For more discussion on how to pick the best measure, read the essay "Explaining the Measures of Worth."
    If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Commodity in 1934 there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
    real price of that commodity is $3,480.00
    labor value of that commodity is $8,410.00(using the unskilled wage) or $10,600.00(using production worker compensation)
    income value of that commodity is $20,100.00

    If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Income or Wealth , in 1934 there are three choices. In 2013 the relative:
    historic standard of living value of that income or wealth is $3,480.00
    economic status value of that income or wealth is $20,100.00
    economic power value of that income or wealth is $50,200.00

    If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Project in 1934 there are four choices. In 2013 the relative:
    historic opportunity cost of that project is $2,760.00
    labor cost of that project is $8,410.00(using the unskilled wage) or $10,600.00(using production worker compensation)
    economy cost of that project is $50,200.00

    Samuel H. Williamson, "Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to present," MeasuringWorth, 2014.
  19. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Well-Known Member

    According to my research it was 3 months average household income (inflation and purchasing power adjusted).

  20. Ingsoc75

    Ingsoc75 Well-Known Member

    The $200 tax is the cheap part. Buying a pre 86 registered MG is the $$$ part.

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