US Stamps

Time to talk taxes for February cartoon caption contest

Jan 30, 2024, 7 AM
The cartoon caption contest image for February is the 22¢ Woodrow Wilson stamp (Scott 2218i) from the 1986 Ameripex Presidential issue. Entries must be received by Feb.23 for a chance to win a prize.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

The start of 2024 brings visions (some would say the specter) of tax time, and it seems to me that would make a good theme for the February cartoon caption contest.

This is your chance to vent on the progressive income tax, which has its roots in the Civil War. The system as we know it today was created based on the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified and effective Feb. 3, 1913:

“The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

In October 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law an act that reestablished a federal income tax.

From this simple start, we have reams of law, regulation, guidance and forms implementing the tax system, not to mention the political football aspect of tax policy between contestants for public office at not only the national but state and local levels as well.

So we will use the President Woodrow Wilson stamp (Scott 2218i) from the 1986 Ameripex pane of nine for the cartoon contest.

You can put words in his mouth about the tax system, the politics of it, how it has evolved, postal operations, Wilson’s philatelic legacy, or anything else that appeals to you.

There will be two prizes given to the winners: one for the best philatelic line and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125; or email it to If you send an email, it is essential that you include your postal mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). Entries must reach me no later than Feb. 23.

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