March and April take a big bite for some Oklahoma taxpayers. The second half of property taxes are due by March 31. State and federal income tax returns must be filed — along with any money owed — by mid-April. Taxes have a long history. A proverb from ancient Lagash in Mesopotamia goes, “You can have a Lord, you can have a king, but the one to fear is the tax assessor.” We quote this from Paul Kriwaczek’s new book “Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization.” Taxes and civilization go together like spring and tulips. Whether in the ancient Fertile Crescent or in modern America, functionaries at all levels get a cut on the activities of daily living such as owning property, buying books like “Babylon” or, if the Obamacare legal challenge fails, simply breathing. Shekels were currency in the ancient world. Shackles is what comes to mind at tax time every spring.
Left: Tulip at Will Rogers Park (The Oklahoman Archives)