Wyoming’s First Tax Controversy: The Proposed Bachelor Tax of 1890
In January of 1890, the final session of the Wyoming Terrritorial Legislature debated a controversial idea to impose a tax on single men.
The so-called "bachelor tax" would have levied a $2.50 against all unmarried men in the state.
Although the proposal did have some support across the state, including an editorial in the Rawlins Daily Times, it was eventually tabled.
Later that year, on July 10th, Wyoming was granted statehood and a new legislature was elected.
Bachelor taxes date back to ancient Rome, when they were implemented to encourage men to marry and have children at a young age. Several of the United States had also imposed bachelor taxes.
In 1922, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that a $3 tax on unmarried men unfairly discriminated against men and declared the law unconstitutional.