Poll tax

A poll tax, also known as head tax or capitation, is a tax levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual.[1]

Head taxes were important sources of revenue for many governments from ancient times until the 19th century. In the United Kingdom, poll taxes were levied by the governments of John of Gaunt in the 14th century, Charles II in the 17th and Margaret Thatcher in the 20th century. In the United States, voting poll taxes have been used to disenfranchise impoverished and minority voters (especially under Reconstruction).[2]

Poll taxes are considered very regressive taxes, and are usually very unpopular and have been implicated in many uprisings.

The word "poll" is an archaic term for "head" or "top of the head". The sense of "counting heads" is found in phrases like polling place and opinion poll.[3]

Religious law

Mosaic law

As prescribed in Exodus (30: 11-16) Jewish law imposed a poll tax of half-shekel, payable by every man above the age of twenty ("the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less").

Exodus 30:11-16:

11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.

14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.

15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. (Authorized Version)

The money was designated for the Tabernacle in the Exodus narrative and later for the upkeep of the Temple of Jerusalem. Priests, women, slaves and minors were exempted, although they could offer it voluntarily. Payment by Samaritans or Gentiles was rejected. It was collected yearly during the month of Adar, both at the Temple and at special collection bureaux in the provinces.

Islamic law

Zakat al-Fitr is an obligatory charity that must be given by every Muslim (or their guardian) near the end of every Ramadan. Muslims in dire poverty are exempt from it.[4] The amount is 2 kg of wheat or barley, or its cash equivalent. Zakat al-Fitr is to be given to the poor.[5]

Jizya was a poll tax imposed under Islamic law on non-Muslims permanently residing in a Muslim state as part of their dhimmi status. The tax is levied on free-born abled-bodied men of military age. The indigent were exempt, as well as slaves, women, children, the old, the sick, monks and hermits.

Several rationales for the jizya have been advanced. They include the argument that jizya was a fee in exchange for the dhimma (permission to practice one's faith, enjoy communal autonomy, and to be entitled to Muslim protection from outside aggression), and the argument that imposition of jizya on non-Muslims is similar to the imposition of zakat (one of the Five Pillars of Islam, an obligatory wealth tax paid on certain assets which are not used productively for a period of a year) on Muslims.

Although jizya is often called a poll tax, its assessment and collection was commonly qualified by income. For instance, Amr ibn al-As, after conquering Egypt, set up a census to measure the population for the jizya, and thus the total expected jizya revenue for the whole province, but organized the actual collection by partitioning the population into wealth classes, so that the rich paid more and the poor less jizya of that total sum. Elsewhere, it is reported customary to partition into three classes, e.g. 48 dirhams for the rich, 24 for middle class and 12 for the poor.[6]

In 1855, the Ottoman Empire abolished the jizya tax, as part of reforms to equalize the status of Muslims and non-Muslims. It was replaced by a military-exemption tax on non-Muslims, the Bedel-i Askeri.


The Chinese head tax was a fixed fee charged to each Chinese person entering Canada. The head tax was first levied after the Canadian parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 and was meant to discourage Chinese people from entering Canada after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The tax was abolished by the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which stopped all Chinese immigration except for business people, clergy, educators, students, and other categories.[7]

England and Scotland

The poll tax was essentially a lay subsidy (a tax on the movable property of most of the population) to help fund war. It had first been levied in 1275 and continued, under different names, until the 17th century. People were taxed a percentage of the assessed value of their movable goods. That percentage varied from year to year and place to place, and which goods could be taxed differed between urban and rural locations. Churchmen were exempt, as were the poor, workers in the Royal Mint, inhabitants of the Cinque Ports, tin workers in Cornwall and Devon, and those who lived in the Palatinate counties of Cheshire and Durham.

14th century

The Hilary Parliament, held between January and March 1377, levied a poll tax in 1377 to finance the war against France at the request of John of Gaunt who, since King Edward III was mortally sick, was the de facto head of government at the time. This tax covered almost 60% of the population, far more than lay subsidies had earlier. It was levied two more times after 1377, in 1379 and 1381. Each time the taxation basis was slightly different. In 1377, every lay person over the age of 14 years who was not a beggar had to pay a groat (4d) to the Crown. By 1379 that had been graded by social class, with the lower age limit changed to 16, and to 15 two years later. The levy of 1381 operated under a combination of both flat rate and graduated assessments. The minimum amount payable was set at 4d, however tax collectors had to account for a 12d a head mean assessment. Payments were therefore variable; the poorest in theory would pay the lowest rate with the deficit being met by a higher payment from those able to afford it.[8] The 1381 tax has been credited as one of the main reasons behind the Peasants' Revolt in that year, due in part to attempts to restore feudal conditions in rural areas.

17th century

The poll tax was resurrected during the 17th century, usually related to a military emergency. It was imposed by Charles I in 1641 to finance the raising of the army against the Scottish and Irish uprisings. With the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, the Convention Parliament of 1660 instituted a poll tax to finance the disbanding of the New Model Army (pay arrears, etc.) (12 Charles II c.9).[9] The poll tax was assessed according to "rank", e.g. dukes paid £100, earls £60, knights £20, esquires £10. Eldest sons paid 2/3rds of their father's rank, widows paid a third of their late husband's rank. The members of the livery companies paid according to company's rank (e.g. masters of first-tier guilds like the Mercers paid £10, whereas masters of fifth-tier guilds, like the Clerks, paid 5 shillings). Professionals also paid differing rates, e.g. physicians (£10), judges (£20), advocates (£5), attorneys (£3), and so on. Anyone with property (land, etc.) paid 40 shillings per £100 earned, anyone over the age of 16 and unmarried paid 12-pence and everyone else over 16 paid 6-pence.

The poll tax was imposed again by William III and Mary II in 1689 (1 Will. & Mar. c.13), reassessed in 1690 adjusting rank for fortune, and then again in 1691 back to rank irrespective of fortune. The poll tax was imposed again in 1692, and one final time in 1698 (the last poll tax in England until the 20th century). A poll tax was imposed on Scotland between 1694 and 1699.

As the greater weight of the 17th century poll taxes fell primarily upon the wealthy and powerful, it was not too unpopular. There were grumblings within the taxed ranks about lack of differentiation by income within ranks. Ultimately, it was the inefficiency of their collection – what they brought in routinely fell far short of expected revenues – that prompted the government to abandon the poll tax after 1698.

Far more controversial was the hearth tax introduced in 1662 (13 & 14 Charles II c.10), which imposed a hefty two shillings on every hearth in a family dwelling (which was easier to count than persons). Heavier, more permanent and more regressive than the poll tax proper, the intrusive entry of tax inspectors into private homes to count hearths was a very sore point, and it was promptly repealed with the Glorious Revolution in 1689. It was replaced with a "window tax" in 1695 (inspectors could count windows from outside homes).

United Kingdom

The Community Charge, unofficially known as the "Poll Tax" , was a tax to fund local government in the United Kingdom, instituted in 1989 by the government of Margaret Thatcher. It replaced the rates that were based on the notional rental value of a house. The abolition of rates was in the Conservative Party manifesto for the 1979 general election, and the replacement was proposed in the Green Paper of 1986, Paying for Local Government based on ideas developed by Dr. Madsen Pirie and Douglas Mason of the Adam Smith Institute. It was a fixed tax per adult resident, but there was a reduction for those with lower household income. Each person was to pay for the services provided in their community. This proposal was contained in the Conservative Party Manifesto for the 1987 general election. The new tax replaced the rates in Scotland from the start of the 1989/90 financial year, and in England and Wales from the start of the 1990/91 financial year.

The system was unpopular. Many thought it shifted the tax burden from the rich to the poor, as it was based on the number of occupants living in a house rather than on the estimated market value of the house. Many tax rates set by local councils proved to be much higher than earlier predictions; this led to resentment, even among some who had supported the introduction of it. The tax in different boroughs differed because local taxes paid by businesses varied and grants by central government to local authorities sometimes varied capriciously.

Mass protests were called by the All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation, with which the vast majority of local Anti-Poll Tax Unions (APTUs) were affiliated. In Scotland, the APTUs called for mass non-payment and these calls rapidly gathered widespread support which spread as far as England and Wales, even though non-payment meant that people could be prosecuted. In some areas, 30% of former ratepayers defaulted. While owner-occupiers were easy to tax, those who regularly changed accommodation were almost impossible to pursue if they chose not to pay. The cost of collecting the tax rose steeply while the returns from it fell. Unrest grew and resulted in a number of poll tax riots. The most serious was in a protest at Trafalgar Square, London, on 31 March 1990, of more than 200,000 protesters. Terry Fields, Labour MP for Liverpool Broadgreen, was jailed for 60 days for his refusal to pay the poll tax.

This unrest led, in part, to the end of Thatcher's premiership. Her successor, John Major, replaced the poll tax with the Council Tax, similar to the rating system that preceded the Poll Tax. The main differences were that it was levied on capital value rather than notional rental value of a property, and that it had a 25% discount for single-occupancy dwellings.

In 2015 Lord Waldegrave reflected in his memoirs that the poll tax was all his own work and that it was a serious mistake. Although he felt the policy looked like it would work, it wasn't implemented how he thought it would be. "They went gung ho and introduced it overnight in one go, which was never my plan and I thought they must know what they were doing - but they didn't." [10]


In France, a poll tax, the capitation, was first imposed by King Louis XIV in 1695 as a temporary measure to finance the War of the League of Augsburg, and thus repealed in 1699. It was resumed during the War of Spanish Succession and in 1704 set on a permanent basis, remaining until the end of the Ancien regime.

Like the English poll tax, the French capitation tax was assessed on rank – for taxation persons, French society was divided in twenty-two "classes", with the Dauphin (a class by himself) paying 2,000 livres, princes of the blood paying 1500 livres, and so on down to the lowest class, composed of day laborers and servants, who paid 1 livre each. The bulk of the common population was covered by four classes, paying 40, 30, 10 and 3 livres respectively. Unlike most other direct French taxes, nobles and clergy were not exempted from capitation taxes. It did, however, exempt the mendicant orders and the poor who contributed less than 40 sous.

The French clergy managed to temporarily escape capitation assessment by promising to pay a total sum of 4 million livres per annum in 1695, and then obtained permanent exemption in 1709 with a lump sum payment of 24 million livres. The Pays d'états (Brittany, Burgundy, etc.) and many towns also escaped assessment by promising annual fixed payments. The nobles did not escape assessment, but they obtained the right to appoint their own capitation tax assessors, which allowed them to escape most of the burden (in one calculation, they escaped ⅞ of it).

Compounding the burden, the assessment on the capitation did not remain stable. The pays de taille personelle (basically, Pays d'élection, the bulk of France and Aquitaine) secured the ability to assess the capitation tax proportionally to the taille – which effectively meant adjusting the burden heavily against the lower classes. According to the estimates of Jacques Necker in 1788, the capitation tax was so riddled in practice, that the privileged classes (nobles and clergy and towns) were largely exempt, while the lower classes were heavily crushed: the lowest peasant class, originally assessed to pay 3 livres, were now paying 24, the second lowest, assessed at 10 livres, were now paying 60 and the third-lowest assessed at 30 were paying 180. The total collection from the capitation, according to Necker in 1788, was 41 million livres, well short of the 54 million estimate, and it was projected that the revenues could have doubled if the exemptions were revoked and the original 1695 assessment properly restored.

The old capitation tax was repealed with the French Revolution and replaced, on January 13, 1791,[11] with a new poll tax as part of the contribution personnelle mobilière, which lasted well into the late 19th century. It was fixed for every individual at "three days's labor" (assessed locally, but by statute, no less than 1 franc 50 centimes and no more than 4 francs 50 centimes, depending on the area). A dwelling tax (impôt sur les portes et fenêtres, similar to the English window-tax) was imposed in 1791.

New Zealand

The numbers of the Chinese immigration went from 20,000 a year to 8 people after the government-imposed "head tax". New Zealand imposed a poll tax on Chinese immigrants during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The poll tax was effectively lifted in the 1930s following the invasion of China by Japan, and was finally repealed in 1944. Prime Minister Helen Clark offered New Zealand's Chinese community an official apology for the poll tax on 12 February 2002.[12]


The Jewish poll tax was a poll tax imposed on the Jews in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was later absorbed into the hiberna tax.[13][14]

Roman Empire

The ancient Romans imposed a tributum capitis (poll tax) as one of the principal direct taxes on the peoples of the Roman provinces (Digest 50, tit.15). In the Republican period, poll taxes were principally collected by private tax farmers (publicani), but from the time of Emperor Augustus, the collections were gradually transferred to magistrates and the senates of provincial cities. The Roman census was conducted periodically in the provinces to draw up and update the poll tax register.

The Roman poll tax fell principally on Roman subjects in the provinces, but not on Roman citizens. Towns in the provinces who possessed the Jus Italicum (enjoying the "privileges of Italy") were exempted from the poll tax. The 212 edict of Emperor Caracalla which formally conferred Roman citizenship on all residents of Roman provinces, did not however exempt them from the poll tax.

The Roman poll tax was deeply resented—Tertullian bewailed the poll tax as a "badge of slavery"—and it provoked numerous revolts in the provinces. Perhaps most famous is the Zealot revolt in Judaea of 66 AD. After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, the Emperor imposed an extra poll tax on Jews throughout the empire, the fiscus judaicus, of two denarii each.

The Italian revolt of the 720s, organized and led by Pope Gregory II, was originally provoked by the attempt of the Constantinople Emperor Leo III the Isaurian to introduce a poll tax in the Italian provinces of the Byzantine Empire in 722, and set in motion the permanent separation of Italy from the Byzantine empire. When King Aistulf of the Lombards availed himself of the Italian dissent and invaded the Exarchate of Ravenna in 751, one of his first acts was to institute a crushing poll tax of one gold solidus per head on every Roman citizen. Seeking relief from this burden, Pope Stephen II appealed to Pepin the Short of the Franks for assistance, that led to the establishment of the Papal States in 756.


The Russian Empire imposed a poll tax in 1718.[15] Nikolay Bunge, Finance Minister from 1881 to 1886 under Emperor Alexander III, abolished it in 1886.[16] Actually, it wasn't quite a poll tax as known in the west countries but rather a sum levied on a community proportionally to the males' count while its apportionment was ruled out by the householders' council (supposedly) in accordance with the capability of each family concerned.

United States

Poll tax

Receipt for payment of poll tax, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 1917 (the $1 tax has the purchasing power of $19.56 today)

Prior to the mid 20th century, a poll tax was implemented in some U.S. state and local jurisdictions and paying it was a requirement before one could exercise their right to vote. After this right was extended to all races by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, many Southern states enacted poll taxes as a means of excluding African-American voters, most of whom were dirt poor and unable to pay a tax. So as not to disenfranchise the many poor whites, such laws typically included a grandfather clause, exempting from the tax any adult male whose father or grandfather had voted. The effect was to exempt whites from the tax blacks had to pay, because no black fathers or grandfathers had been able to vote. The poll tax, along with literacy tests and extra-legal intimidation,[17] achieved the desired effect of disenfranchising African Americans. Often in US discussions, the term poll tax is used to mean a tax that must be paid in order to vote, rather than a capitation tax simply. The Twenty-fourth Amendment, ratified in 1964, prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote on payment of a poll tax or any other type of tax.

Capitation and federal taxation

The ninth section of Article One of the Constitution places several limits on Congress's powers. Among them: "No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken". Capitation here means a tax of a uniform, fixed amount per taxpayer.[18] Direct tax means a tax levied directly by the United States federal government on taxpayers, as opposed to a tax on events or transactions.[19] The United States government levied direct taxes from time to time during the 18th and early 19th centuries. It levied direct taxes on the owners of houses, land, slaves and estates in the late 1790s but cancelled the taxes in 1802.

An income tax is neither a poll tax nor a capitation, as the amount of tax will vary from person to person, depending on each person's income. Until a United States Supreme Court decision in 1895, all income taxes were deemed to be excises (i.e., indirect taxes). The Revenue Act of 1861 established the first income tax in the United States, to pay for the cost of the American Civil War. This income tax was abolished after the war, in 1872. Another income tax statute in 1894 was overturned in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. in 1895, where the Supreme Court held that income taxes on income from property, such as rent income, interest income, and dividend income (however excepting income taxes on income from "occupations and labor" if only for the reason of not having been challenged in the case, "We have considered the act only in respect of the tax on income derived from real estate, and from invested personal property") were to be treated as direct taxes. Because the statute in question had not apportioned income taxes on income from property by population, the statute was ruled unconstitutional. Finally, ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913 made possible modern income taxes, by limiting the Sixteenth Amendment income tax to the class of indirect excises (i.e. excises, duties, and imposts) – thus requiring no apportionment,[20] [21] a practice that would remain unchanged into the 21st century.

Employment-based head taxes

Various cities, including Chicago and Denver, have levied head taxes with a set rate per employee targeted at large employers.[22][23] After Cupertino postponed head tax proposals to 2020, Mountain View became the only city in Silicon Valley, California, to continue to pursue such type of taxes.[24]

In 2018, the Seattle city council proposed a "head tax" of $500 per year per employee.[25][26][27] The proposed tax was lowered to $275 per year per employee, was passed, and became "the biggest head tax in U.S. history",[28] though it was repealed less than a month later.

See also


  1. ^ "Poll tax". Oxford World Encyclopedia. Philip's. 2004. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199546091.001.0001. ISBN 9780199546091. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ Reconstruction After the Civil War by John Hope Franklin, U. of Chicago Press, 1961,pp. 127-151.
  3. ^ Nick Moon, Opinion Polls: History, Theory and Practice (Manchester University Press, 1999), p. 2.
  4. ^ Tugrul Keskin (2012). The Sociology of Islam: Secularism, Economy and Politics. UWA Publishing. p. 449.
  5. ^ Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith (2014). The Oxford Handbook of American Islam. p. 166.
  6. ^ Mannan Islamic Economics: Theory and Practice, p.247
  7. ^ James Morton. "In the Sea of Sterile Mountains: The Chinese in British Columbia". Vancouver, BC: J.J. Douglas, 1974.
  8. ^ See Carolyn Christine Fenwick, "The English Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381: A Critical Examination of the Returns" (London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London), 1983.
  9. ^ Statutes of the Realm, vol. v, p.207-225
  10. ^ "Poll tax a mistake, says Waldegrave". BBC News. 2015-07-20.
  11. ^ Jones C, 2013, The Longman Companion to the French Revolution, Addison Wesley Longman limited, London https://books.google.com.au/books?id=xcXKAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=contribution+fonciere+date+introduced+revolution&source=bl&ots=E7FAxB4DMg&sig=BecAtoSj11znheyxp_JwESHRYwg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwik77yUxYbXAhXBbbwKHQePAqAQ6AEIMzAB#v=onepage&q=contribution%20fonciere%20date%20introduced%20revolution&f=false
  12. ^ New Zealand Office of Ethnic Affairs (2002). "Chinese Poll Tax in New Zealand – Formal Apology". New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 18 August 2006.
  13. ^ Scepter of Judah: The Jewish Autonomy in the Eighteenth-Century Crown Poland, pp. 15-16
  14. ^ The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, p. 118 (browse for "skhumot" online)
  15. ^ Vidal-Naquet, Pierre, ed. (1987). The Collins Atlas of World History. Great Britain: William Collins Sons & Co Ltd. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-00-217776-4.
  16. ^ Holland, Andy (2010). Russia and its rulers 1855–1964. Access to History. Great Britain: Hodder Education. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-340-98370-6.
  17. ^ "Civil Rights Movement -- Literacy Tests & Voter Applications".
  18. ^ United States Department of State (2004). "The Constitution of the United States of America with Explanatory Notes". US Department of State web site. United States. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
  19. ^ United States Department of the Treasury. "History of the U.S. Tax System". US Treasury Department : Education : Fact Sheets : Taxes. United States. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  20. ^ "BRUSHABER v. UNION PACIFIC R. CO., 240 U.S. 1 (1916)". FindLaw : Supreme Court. FindLaw.
  21. ^ "STANTON v. BALTIC MINING CO, 240 U.S. 103 (1916)". FindLaw : Supreme Court. FindLaw.
  22. ^ "Seattle head tax: How 2 other big cities fared". KING 5. May 9, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Seattle backs new tax on largest companies, including Amazon". CNBC. Reuters. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018. The head tax approved on Monday is not the first. Denver has enacted a similar tax, and Chicago had one but repealed it. Seattle itself had a head tax in effect from 2006 to 2009
  24. ^ KHALIDA SARWARI (1 August 2018). "Cupertino shelves proposed 'head tax' on Apple employees for now". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2 August 2018. The council's 4-0 decision to wait until 2020 before putting the tax proposal before voters leaves Mountain View as the only Silicon Valley city proceeding with the so-called head tax this year.
  25. ^ Jessica Lee (10 May 2018). "How did we get here? A look back on Seattle's head-tax plan and Amazon's response". Seattle Times. Retrieved 11 May 2018. The Seattle Times has reported on the so-called "head tax" proposal
  26. ^ "Seattle head tax 101: What to know about the proposal". MyNorthwest. Retrieved 11 May 2018. The Seattle had tax proposal is an employee hours tax
  27. ^ "NEW SEATTLE HEAD TAX PROPOSAL SETS UP POTENTIAL CLASH IN COUNCIL MEETING TODAY". KING 5. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018. A new proposal to Seattle City Council's controversial head tax legislation could bring a compromise
  28. ^ Chris Daniels; Natalie Brand (14 May 2018). "Seattle Mayor Durkan vows to sign head tax compromise". KGW. Retrieved 15 May 2018. The head tax is the largest in U.S. history

External links

1900 United States presidential election in Florida

The 1900 United States presidential election in Florida was held on November 6, 1900. Florida voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice-President.

The anti-Southern animus of the Harrison presidency meant Florida‘s large landowners felt the disfranchisement of blacks was urgent by 1889. A poll tax was introduced in 1889 as were the so-called “Myers” and “Dortch” laws which required voters in more populous settlements to register their voting precincts. This dramatically cut voter registration amongst blacks and poorer whites, and since Florida completely lacked upland or German refugee whites opposed to secession, its Republican Party between 1872 and 1888 was entirely dependent upon black votes. Thus this disfranchisement of blacks and poor whites by a poll tax introduced in 1889 left Florida as devoid of Republican adherents as Louisiana, Mississippi or South Carolina. The Republican Party did not offer presidential electors in 1892, and it did not carry a single county in 1896.

With Bryan appealing to a large number of pineywoods “crackers” who still paid the poll tax, he was able to improve upon his 1896 landslide. The power of Baptist preachers in the settled northern part of the state, however, did produce considerable support for the Prohibition Party’s John Woolley in the white counties.The election saw William Jennings Bryan win the state and receive all four electoral votes. This stands as one of the ten occasions when third or minor parties got over five percent of the vote in Florida.

1988 Scottish Cup Final

The 1988 Scottish Cup Final was played between Celtic and Dundee United at Hampden Park on 14 May 1988.

Celtic won 2–1, with Frank McAvennie scoring both of their goals. They had been 1-0 down after Kevin Gallacher put Dundee United ahead, only for McAvennie to score a late equaliser and then a winner with a low right foot shot at the back post after a corner to complete the double for Celtic, who were already Premier Division champions.The guest of honour was British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, greeted by supporters of both teams by a wave of red cards. As she took her seat, thousands of supporters of both teams sang "you can stick your poll tax up your arse".

1989 United Kingdom local elections

Local elections were held in the United Kingdom in 1989. The Labour Party had the highest projected national vote share, but the Conservative Party, in power at Westminster, gained the most seats.

The national projected share of the vote was Labour 42%, Conservative 36%, Liberal Democrats 19%. The Conservatives gained 92 seats, Labour gained 35 seats and the Liberal Democrats lost 175 seats. It was Labour's largest share of the vote in any election in a decade, as the party's popularity continued to improve as a result of the ongoing modernisation process under Neil Kinnock, and that the Conservative government's popularity was starting to fall following the announcement of the poll tax.

All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation

The All Britain Anti Poll Tax Federation, commonly known as "the Fed", was an organisation in Great Britain to co-ordinate the activities of local Anti-Poll Tax Unions (APTUs) campaigning against the Poll tax (officially the "Community Charge") brought in by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government in 1989 (Scotland) and 1990 (England and Wales).

The BBC technicians' union, Broadcasting and Entertainment Trades Alliance (Beta) affiliated to the Fed, unlike many other trade unions.

Anti-Poll Tax Unions

Anti-Poll Tax Unions (APTUs) were set up in local areas throughout Scotland, England and Wales to organise against the poll tax (officially the "Community Charge") brought in by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government in 1989 (Scotland) and 1990 (England and Wales).The first anti-poll tax union was established in Maryhill, Glasgow, April 1987.An All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation ("the Fed") was set up to co-ordinate the activities of the local unions.

The Anti-Poll Tax Unions played a major part in the legal actions in which around 20 million people were summoned for non-payment of the tax. Those jailed included Terry Fields, MP for Broadgreen.

Black Buck

In post-Reconstruction United States, Black Buck was a racial slur used to describe a certain type of African American men. In particular, the caricature was used to describe black men who absolutely refused to bend to the law of white authority and were seen as irredeemably violent, rude, and lecherous.

Early Muslim conquests

The early Muslim conquests (Arabic: الفتوحات الإسلامية‎, al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya) also referred to as the Arab conquests and early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion.

The resulting empire stretched from the borders of China and the Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Europe (Sicily and the Iberian Peninsula to the Pyrenees). Edward Gibbon writes in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

Under the last of the Umayyads, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean ... We should vainly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; but the progress of Islam diffused over this ample space a general resemblance of manners and opinions. The language and laws of the Quran were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca; and the Arabian language was adopted as the popular idiom in all the provinces to the westward of the Tigris.

The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire. The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Fred McGraw Donner suggests that formation of a state in the Arabian peninsula and ideological (i.e., religious) coherence and mobilization was a primary reason why the Muslim armies in the space of a hundred years were able to establish the largest pre-modern empire until that time. The estimates for the size of the Islamic Caliphate suggest it was more than thirteen million square kilometers (five million square miles).

Most historians agree as well that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another.It has been suggested that some Jews and Christians in the Sassanid Empire and Jews and Monophysites in Syria were dissatisfied and welcomed the Muslim forces, largely because of religious conflict in both empires. It has also been suggested that later Syriac Christians reinterpreted the events of the conquest to serve a political or religious interest. At other times, such as in the Battle of Firaz, Arab Christians allied themselves with the Persians and Byzantines against the invaders. In the case of Byzantine Egypt, Palestine and Syria, these lands had been reclaimed from the Persians only a few years before.

Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections

Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966), was a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that Virginia's poll tax was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, eleven southern states established poll taxes as part of their disenfranchisement of most blacks and many poor whites. The Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1964) prohibited poll taxes in federal elections; five states continued to require poll taxes for voters in state elections. By this ruling, the Supreme Court banned the use of poll taxes in state elections.


Jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزية‎ jizya IPA: [d͡ʒɪzjæ]) is a per capita yearly tax historically levied on non-Muslim subjects, called the dhimma, permanently residing in Muslim lands governed by Islamic law. Muslim jurists required adult, free, sane males among the dhimma community to pay the jizya, while exempting women, children, elders, handicapped, the ill, the insane, monks, hermits, slaves, and musta'mins—non-Muslim foreigners who only temporarily reside in Muslim lands. Dhimmis who chose to join military service were also exempted from payment, as were those who could not afford to pay.The Quran and hadiths mention jizya without specifying its rate or amount. However, scholars largely agree that early Muslim rulers adapted existing systems of taxation and tribute that were established under previous rulers of the conquered lands, such as those of the Byzantine and Sasanian empires.The application of jizya varied in the course of Islamic history. Together with kharāj, a term that was sometimes used interchangeably with jizya, taxes levied on non-Muslim subjects were among the main sources of revenues collected by some Islamic polities, such as the Ottoman Empire. Jizya rate was usually a fixed annual amount depending on the financial capability of the payer. Sources comparing taxes levied on Muslims and jizya differ as to their relative burden depending on time, place, specific taxes under consideration, and other factors.Historically, the jizya tax has been understood in Islam as a fee for protection provided by the Muslim ruler to non-Muslims, for the exemption from military service for non-Muslims, for the permission to practice a non-Muslim faith with some communal autonomy in a Muslim state, and as material proof of the non-Muslims' submission to the Muslim state and its laws. Jizya has also been understood by some as a ritual humiliation of the non-Muslims in a Muslim state for not converting to Islam, while others argue that if it were meant to be a punishment for the dhimmis' unbelief then monks and the clergy wouldn't have been exempted.The term appears in the Quran referring to a tax or tribute from People of the Book, specifically Jews and Christians.

Followers of other religions like Zoroastrians and Hindus too were later integrated into the category of dhimmis and required to pay jizya. In the Indian Subcontinent the practice was eradicated by the 18th century. It almost vanished during the 20th century with disappearance of Islamic states and spread of religious tolerance. The tax is no longer imposed by nation states in the Islamic world, although there are reported cases of organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS attempting to revive the practice.Some modern Islamic scholars have argued that jizya should be paid by non-Muslim subjects of an Islamic state, offering different rationales. For example, Sayyid Qutb saw it as punishment for "polytheism", while Abdul Rahman Doi viewed it as a counterpart of the zakat tax paid by Muslims. According to Khaled Abou El Fadl, moderate Muslims reject the dhimma system, which encompasses jizya, as inappropriate for the age of nation-states and democracies.

Kaidā glyphs

Kaidā glyphs (Kaidā ji (カイダー字)) are a set of pictograms once used in the Yaeyama Islands of southwestern Japan. The word kaidā was taken from Yonaguni, and most studies on the pictographs focused on Yonaguni Island. However, there is evidence for their use in Yaeyama's other islands, most notably on Taketomi Island. They were used primarily for tax notices, thus were closely associated with the poll tax imposed on Yaeyama by Ryūkyū on Okinawa Island, which was in turn dominated by Satsuma Domain on Southern Kyushu.

Militant (Trotskyist group)

Militant, commonly called the Militant tendency, was a Trotskyist entryist group designed to infiltrate the British Labour Party. Its voice was the Militant newspaper launched in 1964. According to Michael Crick, its politics were based on the thoughts of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and 'virtually nobody else'.In 1975, there was widespread press coverage of a Labour Party report on the infiltration tactics of Militant. Between 1975 and 1980, attempts by Reg Underhill and others in the leadership of the Labour Party to expel Militant were rejected by its National Executive Committee, which appointed a Militant member to the position of National Youth Organiser in 1976 after Militant had won control of the party's youth section, the Labour Party Young Socialists.After the Liverpool Labour Party adopted Militant's strategy to set an illegal deficit budget in 1982, a Labour Party commission found Militant in contravention of clause II, section 3 of the party's constitution which made political groups with their own "Programme, Principles and Policy for separate and distinctive propaganda" ineligible for affiliation. Militant was proscribed by the Labour Party's National Executive Committee in December 1982 and the following year five members of the Editorial Board of the Militant newspaper were expelled from the Labour Party. At this point, the group claimed to have 4,300 members. Further expulsions of Militant activists followed. Militant policies dominated Liverpool City Council between 1983 and 1987 and the council organised mass opposition to government cuts to the rate support grant. Forty-seven councillors were banned and surcharged. The conduct of the Liverpool council led Neil Kinnock, Labour's leader, to denounce Militant at the 1985 Party Conference. Eventually, Militant's two remaining Labour MPs were prevented from being Labour candidates at the 1992 general election.

Between 1989 and 1991, Militant led the All-Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation's non-payment campaign against the poll tax. In 1991, Militant decided by a large majority to abandon entryism in the Labour Party. Ted Grant, once the group's most important member, was expelled and his breakaway minority, now known as Socialist Appeal, continued with the entryist strategy. The majority changed its name to Militant Labour and then in 1997 to the Socialist Party.

New Zealand head tax

New Zealand imposed a poll tax on Chinese immigrants during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The poll tax was effectively lifted in the 1930s following the invasion of China by Japan, and was finally repealed in 1944. Prime Minister at the time Helen Clark offered New Zealand's Chinese community an official apology for the poll tax on 12 February 2002.

Peasants' Revolt

The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black Death in the 1340s, the high taxes resulting from the conflict with France during the Hundred Years' War, and instability within the local leadership of London. The final trigger for the revolt was the intervention of a royal official, John Bampton, in Essex on 30 May 1381. His attempts to collect unpaid poll taxes in Brentwood ended in a violent confrontation, which rapidly spread across the south-east of the country. A wide spectrum of rural society, including many local artisans and village officials, rose up in protest, burning court records and opening the local gaols. The rebels sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of unfree labour known as serfdom, and the removal of the King's senior officials and law courts.

Inspired by the sermons of the radical cleric John Ball and led by Wat Tyler and Johanna Ferrour, a contingent of Kentish rebels advanced on London. They were met at Blackheath by representatives of the royal government, who unsuccessfully attempted to persuade them to return home. King Richard II, then aged 14, retreated to the safety of the Tower of London, but most of the royal forces were abroad or in northern England. On 13 June, the rebels entered London and, joined by many local townsfolk, attacked the gaols, destroyed the Savoy Palace, set fire to law books and buildings in the Temple, and killed anyone associated with the royal government. The following day, Richard met the rebels at Mile End and acceded to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, rebels entered the Tower of London, killing the Lord Chancellor and the Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside.

On 15 June, Richard left the city to meet Tyler and the rebels at Smithfield. Violence broke out, and Richard's party killed Tyler. Richard defused the tense situation long enough for London's mayor, William Walworth, to gather a militia from the city and disperse the rebel forces. Richard immediately began to re-establish order in London and rescinded his previous grants to the rebels. The revolt had also spread into East Anglia, where the University of Cambridge was attacked and many royal officials were killed. Unrest continued until the intervention of Henry le Despenser, who defeated a rebel army at the Battle of North Walsham on 25 or 26 June. Troubles extended north to York, Beverley and Scarborough, and as far west as Bridgwater in Somerset. Richard mobilised 4,000 soldiers to restore order. Most of the rebel leaders were tracked down and executed; by November, at least 1,500 rebels had been killed.

The Peasants' Revolt has been widely studied by academics. Late 19th-century historians used a range of sources from contemporary chroniclers to assemble an account of the uprising, and these were supplemented in the 20th century by research using court records and local archives. Interpretations of the revolt have shifted over the years. It was once seen as a defining moment in English history, but modern academics are less certain of its impact on subsequent social and economic history. The revolt heavily influenced the course of the Hundred Years' War, by deterring later Parliaments from raising additional taxes to pay for military campaigns in France. The revolt has been widely used in socialist literature, including by the author William Morris, and remains a potent political symbol for the political left, informing the arguments surrounding the introduction of the Community Charge in the United Kingdom during the 1980s.

Peter Taaffe

Peter Taaffe (born April 1942) is a British political activist and journalist. He is the general secretary of the Socialist Party of England and Wales and member of the International Executive Committee of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), which has sections in over 45 countries around the world.Taaffe was the founding editor of the Trotskyist Militant newspaper in 1964, and became known as a leading member of the entryist Militant group. Taaffe was expelled from the Labour Party in 1983, along with four other members of Militant's editorial board

Taaffe was influential in the policy decisions of Liverpool City Council of 1983–1987, according to the council's deputy leader Derek Hatton, in the formation of the Militant tendency's policy regarding the Poll Tax in 1988–1991, and the Militant tendency's "open turn" from the Labour Party in the late 1980s, becoming general secretary of Militant's eventual successor, the Socialist Party in 1997.

Poll tax (Great Britain)

The Community Charge, commonly known as the poll tax, was a system of taxation introduced in replacement of domestic rates in Scotland from 1989, prior to its introduction in England and Wales from 1990. It provided for a single flat-rate per-capita tax on every adult, at a rate set by the local authority. The charge was replaced by Council Tax in 1993, two years after its abolition was announced.

Poll tax riots

The poll tax riots were a series of riots in British towns and cities during protests against the Community Charge (colloquially known as the "poll tax"), introduced by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The largest protest occurred in central London on Saturday 31 March 1990, shortly before the tax was due to come into force in England and Wales.

Poll taxes in the United States

A poll tax is a tax levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual. Although often associated with states of the former Confederate States of America Confederacy, poll taxes were also in place in some northern and western states, including California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin. Poll taxes had been a major source of government funding among the colonies which formed the United States. Poll taxes made up from one-third to one-half of the tax revenue of colonial Massachusetts. Various privileges of citizenship, including voter registration or issuance of driving licenses and resident hunting and fishing licenses, were conditioned on payment of poll taxes to encourage collection of this tax revenue. Property taxes assumed a larger share of tax revenues as land values rose when population increases encouraged settlement of the American west. Some western states found no need for poll tax requirements; but poll taxes and payment incentives remained in eastern states, and some links to voter registration were modified following the American Civil War until court action following ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964.

Poplar Rates Rebellion Mural

The Poplar Rates Rebellion Mural is a mural in Poplar, London, on the wall of the depot of Tower Hamlets Parks Department on Hale Street, E14

The mural commemorates the Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921, when Poplar Borough Council, led by former mayor George Lansbury, refused to pay precepts to London County Council, the Metropolitan Police, the Metropolitan Asylums Board and the Metropolitan Water Board, as a protest against the inequity of the system of local rates. Poplar was a poor borough, with a high level of poverty and "outdoor relief" which the council was required to fund for itself under the poor laws.

The mural records that 30 councillors were imprisoned for contempt of court for refusing a comply with a court order requiring the precepts to be paid. The council continued to hold meetings while the councillors were in prison, with women councillors in Holloway Prison taken by taxi to meet with the men in Brixton Prison. The campaign was widely supported by the general public and trades unions, and in due course the councillors were released from prison. Parliament quickly passed the Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act 1921 to try to equalise tax burdens between rich and poor boroughs.

The mural was painted by Mark Francis in 1990. It has four panels, including an image of George Lansbury wearing his mayoral chain of office; placards reading "Can't Pay Won't Pay"', references reference to the campaign to abolish the 1990s era poll tax, and a list of the names of the imprisoned councillors. It was restored in 2007 by David Bratby and Maureen Delenian.

Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

Southern states of the former Confederate States of America adopted poll taxes in laws of the late 19th century and new constitutions from 1890 to 1908, after the Democratic Party had generally regained control of state legislatures decades after the end of Reconstruction, as a measure to prevent African Americans and often poor whites from voting. Use of the poll taxes by states was held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1937 decision Breedlove v. Suttles.

When the 24th Amendment was ratified in 1964, five states still retained a poll tax: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia. The amendment prohibited requiring a poll tax for voters in federal elections. But it was not until 1966 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that poll taxes for any level of elections were unconstitutional. It said these violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Subsequent litigation related to potential discriminatory effects of voter registration requirements has generally been based on application of this clause.

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