AIB Monamogolo in "Is new growth always an economic benefit?"
In Germany, there are few closets. As I understand it, this is because people are taxed on how many rooms they have and if it has a door, it's taxed as a "room". This is why they have shranks in every room. Shranks usually don't play so well in American homes after soldiers and their families come back to The States because we have closets (and more windows, generally speaking), so there are fewer uninterrupted expanses of long walls to place these huge pieces of furniture against. My German mother favored wall units when I was growing up: They can be arranged to take up the length of a wall (like a shrank) but aren't as inflexible. It was a flavor of her heritage, but adapted to the reality of her new homeland.
Also, as I understand it, at one time in The Deep South (of the U.S.) , people were taxed on how many doors they had. Presumably, the idea was that a larger, more expensive house would have more doors going in and out. In reaction to that, people built houses with tall windows starting very low on the wall to access their porches. It avoided the tax.
In thinking about Monamogolo's remarks about taxing schemes differing from place to place, I wondered what would happen if some place had their circumstances or taxing scheme suddenly altered. I wondered it because that may well happen with the whole peak oil thing: lifestyles may have to drastically change over a fairly short time-frame. Then what happens to the entities relying on taxing schemes planned around our current sprawl-based lifestyle? Well, the result may be a crisis similar to what happened to The Deep South post-Civil War. As I understand it, pre-Civil War, The South got most of its taxes from slave-owners. I believe it was an attempt to soak the rich and not bother poor folks too much (which seems common with taxing schemes). When slavery ended, the economic basis of government essentially collapsed. The consequences were pretty ugly and it took decades to recover. (I suppose some folks would argue that The South has never fully recovered.)
I was wondering if other people knew of any other examples like the ones above or had any other thoughts on the topic.