Civic Definitions- What is a Poll Tax - History

Civic Definitions- What is a Poll Tax - History

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Poll tax

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 (whose payment was a precondition to voting in an election) have been used to disenfranchise impoverished and minority voters (especially under Reconstruction). [2]

By their very nature, poll taxes are considered very regressive taxes, are usually very unpopular and have been implicated in many uprisings. [ citation needed ]

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]

Poll tax

One of the most effective measures, the poll tax , began in Georgia in 1871.

The poll tax was $18 in total, which is equivalent to about $260 in 2020.

I vote because I still remember that my parents & grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins & neighbors had to pay a poll tax in order to vote in AL, my home state.

Have you tried to access the research that your tax dollars finance, almost all of which is kept behind a paywall?

But so-called jungle primaries are notoriously hard to predict or poll.

His life as a man is built around health insurance and tax services.

Most of it is taken up by a graphic inviting the visitor to participate in the 2016 online presidential straw poll.

Cocaine busts, tax cheats, and bribe-taking, born-again Christians: Welcome to the political scandals of 2014.

The law went into operation in England imposing a tax on wearing hair powder.

In former years, Korea had paid an annual tribute or tax to China, but for some time it had been held back by this king.

Mr. Jackson supposed that Parliament had a right to tax America, but he much doubted the expediency of the present act.

In tax-paying circles it is said that the fashionable thing will be to start now and let the airship overtake you if it can.

The stamps, in remote districts, would frequently require more in postage to obtain than the value of the tax.

Updated March 2018 Page 2 2 Starting January 1, 2018, compensation income earners, self-employed and professional taxpayers (SEPs) whose annual taxable incomes are P250,000 or less are exempt from the personal income tax (PIT). The 13th month pay and other benefits amounting to P90,000 are likewise tax-exempt.

The basic source of Philippine tax law is the National Internal Revenue Law, which codifies all tax provisions, the latest of which is embodied in Republic Act No. 8424 (“The Tax Reform Act of 1997”). It amended previous national internal revenue codes, which was approved on December 11, 1997.

Demise of the Poll Tax

Immediately after World War II (1939–1945), reformers within the party and wartime governor Colgate Whitehead Darden proposed to repeal the poll tax as an embarrassing and indefensible barrier to democracy in the state. Even though the General Assembly reluctantly proposed a constitutional amendment to abolish the poll tax, the party’s leadership rallied behind the poll tax, and the amendment was defeated in the November 1949 ratification referendum.

Poll tax (United States)

In the United States, payment of a poll tax was a prerequisite to the registration for voting in a number of states. The tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws. After the right to vote was extended to all races by the enactment of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, many Southern states enacted poll tax laws as a device for restricting voting rights. The laws often included a grandfather clause, which allowed any adult male whose father or grandfather had voted in a specific year prior to the abolition of slavery to vote without paying the tax. These laws, along with unfairly implemented literacy tests and extra-legal intimidation, achieved the desired effect of disenfranchising African-American and Native American voters, as well as poor whites.

Proof of payment of a poll tax was a prerequisite to voter registration in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia (1877), North and South Carolina, Virginia (until 1882 and again from 1902 with its new constitution), and Texas (1902). The Texas poll tax "required otherwise eligible voters to pay between $1.50 and $1.75 to register to vote – a lot of money at the time, and a big barrier to the working classes and poor." Georgia created a cumulative poll tax requirement in 1877: men of any race 21 to 60 years of age had to pay a sum of money for every year from the time they had turned 21, or from the time that the law took effect.

The poll tax requirements applied to whites as well as blacks, and also adversely affected poor citizens. Many states required payment of the tax at a time separate from the election, and then required voters to bring receipts with them to the polls. If they could not locate such receipts, they could not vote. In addition, many states surrounded registration and voting with complex record-keeping requirements. These were particularly difficult for sharecropper and tenant farmers to comply with, as they moved frequently.

The poll tax was sometimes used alone or together with a literacy qualification. In a kind of grandfather clause, North Carolina in 1900 exempted from the poll tax those men entitled to vote as of January 1, 1867. This excluded all blacks, who did not then have suffrage.

Although largely associated with states of the former Confederacy, poll taxes were also in place in some northern and western states. For instance, California had a poll tax until 1914 when it was abolished through a popular referendum.

For Election Day, A History Of The Poll Tax In America

As voters head to the polls to cast ballots in local, state and federal elections, questions linger. It’s been an ugly political season. Allegations of voter fraud, voter tampering, and voter suppression have been in constant circulation and might make you think that our voting system is irretrievably broken. The truth is that voting in America has never been without controversy - going all the way back to the poll tax.

A poll tax is generally considered a fee paid for the right to vote. And while the poll tax is most often associated with suppressing the African American vote during the 1960s, those in power required voters to pay poll taxes long before that time. For example, colonists paid poll taxes just before the American Revolution - part of that whole taxation without representation bit that kept Americans unhappy.

Poll taxes in the colonies, and subsequently in the states, weren’t always linked directly to voting. Instead, they were per person taxes. The word poll came from Low German meaning “head” and was extended to mean individual. By the 1690s, the phrase “poll tax” translated to “head tax” and was considered in a number of countries. The idea was that everyone should pay some tax, even those who didn’t make enough money or own enough assets to be subjected to income and property taxes. If everyone paid tax, the result was more revenue for the government.

In 1870, Congress passed the 15th Amendment which declared citizens should be allowed to vote without regard to race, color or prior history of slavery, stating:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

(By citizens, they meant men. Women didn’t win the vote in the United States until 1920.)

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The amendment didn’t sit well with many in power, especially those in southern states. In an effort to suppress the vote, eleven states in the south, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, imposed a form of poll tax on its residents.

(It should be noted, however, that poll taxes weren’t restricted to the south, as my state of Pennsylvania had one in place until 1933.)

Administration of the tax varied from state to state but generally required residents to pay the tax to register to vote or provide proof of payment of the tax to vote. Failure to provide a receipt or other proof of payment meant that you could not vote. In some states, poll taxes had to be paid for a few years before you could be eligible to vote. In Alabama, the poll tax was cumulative a law requiring men to pay all that was due from the age of twenty-one was written into the 1901 state constitution. In Georgia, the 1926 Code stipulated that a resident “shall have paid all taxes which may have been required of him” since 1877.

Residents charged that the rules were not enforced uniformly. Typically election officers had the discretion to demand that a voter produce a poll tax receipt. To make it more difficult or intimidating, laws often stipulated that poll taxes be paid only in cash and at specific locations, like the local police station.

The efforts to keep voters of color home paid off. In the state of Mississippi, fewer than 9,000 of the 147,000 voting-age African Americans were registered to vote after 1890. In Louisiana, where more than 130,000 black voters had been registered in 1896, the number plummeted to 1,342 by 1904.

While some tried to justify the poll tax, claiming that it was simply a revenue raiser, others were more plain-spoken. An editorial in the Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News boldly declared:

This newspaper believes in white supremacy, and it believes that the poll tax is one of the essentials for the preservation of white supremacy.

The question of whether the poll tax was constitutional predictably landed in court. In 1937, in Breedlove v. Suttles, 302 U.S. 277 (1937), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state of Georgia could impose a poll tax since “It was not the purpose of the Nineteenth Amendment to limit the taxing power of the State.” Further, the court explained that states were entitled to make their own laws, writing, “The payment of poll taxes as a prerequisite to voting is a familiar and reasonable regulation long enforced in many states and for more than a century in Georgia.”

In 1951, a similar case was heard in federal court. Unlike the plaintiff in Breedlove who was a white man, the plaintiff in Butler v. Thompson, 97 F. Supp. 17 (E.D. Va. 1951), was an African-American woman who “alleged that, apart from the payment of her poll taxes” she was “in every way qualified to register under the Virginia law as a voter.” The courts again took the position that states were entitled to make their own laws, finding that “it is well settled that a law that is fair on its face and is also fairly administered is not rendered invalid by the evil motives of its draftsmen.” The plaintiff’s case was dismissed.

However, times were changing. Even as poll taxes were confirmed in the courts, they were losing popularity. By 1962, just five southern states had poll taxes on the books: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. That same year, the House passed the 24th Amendment, outlawing the poll tax as a voting requirement in federal elections by a vote of 295 to 86. The Amendment did not become part of the Constitution, however, until 1964 when South Dakota ratified it. Today, eight states have still not ratified the amendment.

The 24th Amendment states:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

President Lyndon B. Johnson called the amendment a "triumph of liberty over restriction.” “It is a verification of people's rights, which are rooted so deeply in the mainstream of this nation's history,” he said.

On August 6, 1965, President Johnson also signed the Voting Rights Act into law which authorized the U.S. Attorney General to investigate the use of poll taxes in state and local elections. By the end of the year, 250,000 new voters of color had been registered. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was never made permanent but has been reauthorized many times.

Predictably, those states which still imposed a poll tax resented the move and quickly seized upon the language which appeared to limit the application to federal elections. According to the New York Times, Mississippi Attorney General, Joe Patterson, said, “Some machinery will have to be set up to reckon with two sets of voters‐one for state elections and one for national elections.”

A test shot was fired in Virginia where the Supreme Court ruled that “The poll tax is abolished absolutely as a prerequisite to voting in federal elections, and no equivalent or milder substitute may be imposed.” The case, Harman v. Forssenius, 380 U.S. 528 (1965), focused on a Virginia law put in place in response to the 24th Amendment. Virginia had eliminated their existing mandatory poll tax and substituted a provision allowing voters to choose to pay the poll tax or file a certificate of residence six months before the election. Chief Justice Warren wrote that the new law was “repugnant to the Twenty-fourth Amendment” as he echoed statements from earlier courts that "the right to vote freely for the candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government.”

The matter would go to court again. In 1966, the Supreme Court specifically overruled Breedlove, finding in Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966) that “A State's conditioning of the right to vote on the payment of a fee or tax violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” In reaching the decision, Justice Douglas noted that “Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth nor to paying or not paying this or any other tax.”

Quoting a previous opinion in Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U. S. 533, 377 U. S. 561-562, Justice Douglas opined, “A citizen, a qualified voter, is no more nor no less so because he lives in the city or on the farm. The Equal Protection Clause demands no less than substantially equal state legislative representation for all citizens, of all places as well as of all races.”

Specifically tackling the states’ argument that they should be allowed to fix voting requirements inside their own borders, Douglas disagreed, writing, “we must remember that the interest of the State, when it comes to voting, is limited to the power to fix qualifications. Wealth, like race, creed, or color, is not germane to one's ability to participate intelligently in the electoral process. Lines drawn on the basis of wealth or property, like those of race are traditionally disfavored. To introduce wealth or payment of a fee as a measure of a voter's qualifications is to introduce a capricious or irrelevant factor. The degree of the discrimination is irrelevant.”

He concluded, “[T]o repeat, wealth or fee paying has, in our view, no relation to voting qualifications the right to vote is too precious, too fundamental to be so burdened or conditioned.”

Poll Tax

A poll tax is a uniform per capita tax levied upon a specified class of people often made a requirement for the right to vote. In Arkansas, use of a poll tax was as old as the state itself. Arkansas’s first state constitution, adopted in 1836, authorized the imposition of a poll tax to be used for county purposes, and a subsequent state statute authorized county courts to collect a poll tax not to exceed one dollar per year from every free male inhabitant between the ages of twenty-one and sixty. Provisions similar to that in the 1836 constitution were included in the subsequent Confederate state constitution of 1861 and Unionist state constitution of 1864 (the Confederate constitution allowed the poll tax to be used for corporation as well as county purposes).

With the launching of congressional Reconstruction after the Civil War, yet another state constitution was written, that of 1868. Reflecting the more democratic spirit of the convention that authored it, and recognizing that a poll tax was an inherently regressive tax that fell most heavily upon the poor, the 1868 constitution declared, “The levying of taxes by the poll is grievous and oppressive therefore the general assembly shall never levy a poll tax excepting for school purposes.” Another section of the document mandated the annual collection of a one-dollar head tax from every male inhabitant over the age of twenty-one but specified that the monies raised could only be used to support a new system of free public schools.

At the end of the Reconstruction era, a fifth constitution was adopted in 1874, the one under which Arkansas still operates. It retained the poll tax provisions of the 1868 organic law, also assessing a per capita tax of one dollar per year on every male inhabitant over the age of twenty-one, with the monies collected to be placed in the state’s public school fund. In part, this was done out of a professed recognition that since universal suffrage was now a reality for both black and white men, there was a need for public schools to help create an informed and educated electorate.

Collection of the poll tax had proven difficult, nevertheless, and payment had been at best sporadic, a state of affairs that sometimes produced disgruntlement among the wealthy taxes on real and personal property, which the wealthy disproportionately owned, became the principal source of state revenues.

Eventually, the beginning of the agrarian revolt in Arkansas during the late nineteenth century would result in new efforts to collect the poll tax. Angry at the failure of the state’s dominant Democratic Party to provide any meaningful economic relief in the depressed post–Civil War years, thousands of yeoman farmers began to “kick over the traces” and join new third-party agrarian insurgencies, acting first in 1888 and 1890 through the Union Labor Party and later, beginning in 1892, through the Populist or People’s Party. When Arkansas Republicans, half of whom at the time were African American, endorsed the Union Labor nominees for state office in 1888 and 1890, the effect was to create something largely unprecedented in Arkansas—a biracial coalition of poor blacks and poor whites.

Democratic chieftains and conservative elites moved swiftly to deflect this threat. One method of doing so was to restrict third-party agrarians’ and Republicans’ access to the ballot box. In 1891, the Arkansas General Assembly adopted a new state election law that effectively gave state Democrats control over the appointment of voting officials in every county in Arkansas and excluded thousands of illiterates from participating in elections. The same legislature also proposed a new poll tax amendment to Arkansas’s constitution.

Under the proposed new amendment, before prospective voters could be given a ballot, they would be required to present an official receipt at the polling places attesting to the fact that they had paid their current annual poll tax. The poll taxes had to be paid and the receipts had to be obtained, not at the county clerk’s office or the county treasurer’s office, but rather at the county sheriff’s office this, no doubt, was intimidating to many people. For those voters who did pay the poll tax, precinct officials on election day were instructed to stamp or initial their poll tax receipts before returning them to the voters. It was hoped that this procedure would stop unscrupulous “repeating” or multiple voting, a practice claimed by whites to be commonplace among African Americans, since black people all supposedly “looked alike.” Another feature of the amendment withheld the ballot from convicted felons.

After being proposed by the legislature, the poll tax amendment was submitted to the people for approval in the September 1892 state election. Occasionally, Democratic proponents openly invoked race and disfranchisement of African Americans as a reason for supporting the measure, though supporters more often stressed that the one-dollar fee would be affordable for anyone. (However, in an era in which a dollar a day was a commonplace wage for workers, the poll tax was, for many, a formidable barrier to inclusion in the democratic process.) Most frequently, though, advocates advanced the poll tax as a means of raising additional revenues for the public school system.

Despite the incessant Republican and third-party attacks against the measure, some election returns suggest that numbers of African Americans did vote for the poll tax. One explanation is the not-too-veiled threat from some whites to slash funding for black education if the tax were defeated. However, the election in which the poll tax amendment was voted upon was the first major election conducted under the new Election Law of 1891, which gave the Arkansas Democratic Party practical control over every voting precinct in Arkansas. Fraud and the deliberate miscounting of ballots are the most obvious explanations for seeming black support for the poll tax amendment.

Even with assistance of the new voting law, it was highly doubtful that the poll tax proposition had carried. It received a plurality but not an absolute majority of all the votes cast in the election some 23,750 people chose not to cast votes on the amendment at all. Although the state constitution clearly mandated that a proposed constitutional amendment had to be approved by a majority of those voting in an election, the Democratic-controlled legislature nonetheless declared that the poll tax amendment had been approved, and it took effect after April 14, 1893.

Nevertheless, complaints about Amendment 2’s questionable ratification persisted for years. Finally, in a 1906 case contesting ratification of a different proposed constitutional amendment on similar grounds, the Arkansas Supreme Court in Rice v. Palmer ruled that ratification required the approval of a complete majority of all those taking part in the election in which the proposal had been voted upon. The Rice v. Palmer decision did not immediately overturn the original poll tax amendment, but it was clear that any lawsuit brought against it would be successful. Already, in fact, in the related 1905 case of Knight v. Shelton, Federal District judge Jacob Trieber had forbidden use of the poll tax as a voting requirement in Arkansas congressional elections, ruling that Amendment 2 had never been properly ratified.

Hoping to deflect further judicial assaults, the legislature submitted a second poll tax amendment, Amendment 9, to the voters in 1908. This second measure won approval by means as doubtful as the first. A voter had to possess a poll tax receipt before he could participate in the election and vote on the poll tax amendment. Under these circumstances, the new amendment received the necessary majority.

Together, the 1891 election law and the 1892 poll tax amendment had a revolutionary impact on Arkansas politics. There were 65,000 fewer voters in 1894 than in 1890, a drastic decline in turnout. The combined impact of both measures had by 1894 completely swept African Americans from the state legislature, as well as from most local and county offices (not until 1973 would African Americans again serve in the Arkansas General Assembly). The 1891 election law and the 1892 poll tax amendment also broke the back of the third-party agrarian insurgency and destroyed any hope that it might transform the lives of the state’s rural poor. Working in tandem, the measures established white supremacy and one-party rule as the central tenets of Arkansas society and politics for almost three-quarters of the next century.

Over time, legal requirements pertaining to the poll tax were elaborated upon and expanded. After the adoption of a women’s suffrage amendment to the state constitution in 1920, the Arkansas Supreme Court, in Taafe v. Sanderson (1927), invoked the privileges and immunities doctrine to hold that women over the age of twenty-one would also have to pay an annual poll tax in order to vote. In 1929, to encourage payment of the poll tax, the Arkansas General Assembly adopted a new law stating that no state employees or contractors could be recipients of public funds or recipients of state licenses or permits until they had paid their poll taxes.

Once in place, the poll tax and other disfranchisement measures, in addition to politically disempowering thousands of poor people, gradually began to have a broad social impact. Eliminating or drastically reducing black representation on local school boards caused funding for black schools to shrink precipitously. By 1930, the state was spending less than half as much per annum to educate a black schoolchild as a white schoolchild. Underfunded schools and unequal educational opportunities for blacks, in turn, lessened prospects for economic advancement and social mobility among African Americans.

The poll tax also fueled a pervasive climate of political corruption within Arkansas. Although prohibited by Act 123 of 1935, wholesale purchase of poll taxes by others not in the purchaser’s immediate family was widespread, and illegally obtained poll tax receipts were widely distributed by candidates to their supporters. No personal identification was required for applications for absentee ballots, and signatures on such applications were often forged even many dead people lying in cemeteries evidently cast ballots. Legal requirements that poll tax receipts be stamped or initialed by election officials at the polls were routinely ignored, allowing some dishonest voters to “vote early and often” at different precincts on election day. Convinced that elections were often “rigged” in advance, even many of those Arkansans who could afford to pay poll taxes increasingly did not bother to vote, with election turn-outs steadily declining.

Disquiet and growing public alienation eventually gave rise to efforts to abolish the poll tax as a requirement for voting. Although a proposed state constitutional amendment to this effect was defeated in 1938, Governor Sid McMath attempted in vain to obtain its repeal following World War II. Success had to await the advent of the civil rights era of the 1960s. Only in November 1964 did Arkansas voters approve a new state constitutional amendment that replaced the poll tax with a modern voter registration system. Led by a Voter Registration Committee chaired by a white physician and civic leader from Arkadelphia (Clark County), Dr. H. D. (Dave) Luck, supporters of the new amendment included not only civil rights activists but such good-government advocates as the Arkansas units of the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women, the Business and Professional Women’s Association, and the Arkansas Education Association. They, in turn, were backed by the state’s two most important newspapers, the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat. Future Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller, along with organized labor, provided important financial support for the repeal effort.

During the same year in which Arkansas repealed its poll tax, the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, prohibiting the use of the poll tax in congressional and presidential elections. Passage of the new Federal Voting Rights Act by Congress the following year and a 1966 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections, extended this prohibition to all state and local elections throughout the nation.

For additional information:
Bayliss, Garland Erastus. “Public Affairs in Arkansas, 1874–1896.” PhD diss., University of Texas, 1972.

Branam, Chris M. “Another Look at Disfranchisement in Arkansas, 1888–1894.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 69 (Autumn 2010): 245–262.

Crawford, Sidney Robert. “The Poll Tax.” MA thesis, University of Arkansas, 1944.

Fain, James Harris. “Political Disfranchisement of the Negro in Arkansas.” MA thesis, University of Arkansas, 1961.

Gordon, Fon Louise. Caste and Class: The Black Experience in Arkansas, 1880–1920. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995.

Glaze, Tom, with Ernie Dumas. Waiting for the Cemetery Vote: The Fight to Stop Election Fraud in Arkansas. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2011.

Graves, John William. “The Arkansas Negro and Segregation.” MA thesis, University of Arkansas, 1967.

———. “Jim Crow in Arkansas: A Reconsideration of Urban Race Relations in the Post-Reconstruction South.” Journal of Southern History 55 (August 1989): 421–448.

———. “Negro Disfranchisement in Arkansas.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 36 (Autumn 1967): 199–225.

———. Town and Country: Race Relations in an Urban-Rural Context, Arkansas, 1865–1905. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1990.

Hawkins, Marlin, and C. Fred Williams. How I Stole Elections: The Autobiography of Sheriff Marlin Hawkins. Morrilton, AR: 1991.

Kousser, J. Morgan. The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880–1910. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974.

Ledbetter, Calvin R., Jr. “Arkansas Amendment for Voter Registration without Poll Tax Payment.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 54 (Summer 1995): 134–162.

Moneyhon, Carl H. Arkansas and the New South, 1874–1929. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997

Ogden, Frederic. The Poll Tax in the South. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1958.

Perman, Michael. Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888–1908. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Segraves, Joe Tolbert. “Arkansas Politics, 1874–1918.” PhD diss., University of Kentucky, 1973.

Stockley, Grif. Ruled by Race: Black/White Relations in Arkansas from Slavery to the Present. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2009.

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Sunshine31-I understand that they wanted to raise money for the government, but attaching it to the right to vote is really unfair because that is a universal right that American citizen’s share.

I know that the British poll tax was similar to that of the Untied States. Although the fee paid was a flat percentage, everyone had to pay that percentage.

This is unfair to the poor people because although everyone pays the same percentage it does not impact people the same way. A wealthy person, for example, that has to pay a 10% fee will not impact him or her because they have excess disposable income.

A poor person has no disposable income and therefore this fine will impact his or her livelihood. They may actually have to make choices regarding buying food and voting. These people tend to live paycheck to paycheck with little savings. I am glad that we do not have poll taxes.

The poll tax amendment was the 24th amendment to the constitution. It really abolished the poll tax because it was unfair to poor people.

In addition, it was a measure used to keep freed slaves from voting. Actually there was a poll tax and a literacy test that disqualified African Americans from voting.

The literacy test given to white Americans was much easier than that given to African Americans causing them to be disqualified from voting. I don’t think that any American citizens should be disenfranchised like that.

People have the right to pick representatives for their elected government. This is what a free democracy does and why people from all over the world want to migrate to the United States. Cubans, for example, risk their lives everyday to escape the injustices of totalitarian rule and hope to reach US soil where they will be granted automatic asylum.

This illustrates how important the right to vote is. This is why having no poll tax is really the way it should have been. The history of the poll tax is really another sad period of our American history.

Updated March 2018 Page 2 2 Starting January 1, 2018, compensation income earners, self-employed and professional taxpayers (SEPs) whose annual taxable incomes are P250,000 or less are exempt from the personal income tax (PIT). The 13th month pay and other benefits amounting to P90,000 are likewise tax-exempt.

Poll tax, in English history, a tax of a uniform amount levied on each individual, or “head.” Of the poll taxes in English history, the most famous was the one levied in 1380, a main cause of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler. …

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