What does poll tax mean?

Definitions for poll tax
poll tax

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word poll tax.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. poll taxnoun

    a tax of a fixed amount per person and payable as a requirement for the right to vote


  1. poll taxnoun

    A tax determined as a uniform, fixed amount per individual.

  2. poll taxnoun

    A tax required in order to vote.

  3. Etymology: From sense poll for “uniform tax per individual”; from sense poll for “tax required to vote”.


  1. Poll tax

    A poll tax, also known as head tax or capitation, is a tax levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual (typically every adult), without reference to income or resources. 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.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).By their very nature, poll taxes are considered regressive. Many other economists brand them as highly harmful taxes for low incomes (100 monetary units of a fortune of 10,000 represent 1% of said wealth, while 100 monetary units of a fortune of 500 represents 20%). Its acceptance or "neutrality" (there is no truly neutral tax on the population) will depend on the amount of payment that is agreed upon and set by the government body. Therefore, low amounts generally go unnoticed just as high amounts generate many tax revolts. Examples of such tax riots are the 1381 Peasants' Revolt in England and the 1906 Bambatha Rebellion against colonial rule in South Africa.


  1. Poll tax

    In U.S. practice, a poll tax was used as a de facto or implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote. This tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws. After the ability to vote was extended to all races by the enactment of the Fifteenth Amendment, many Southern states enacted poll tax laws as a means of restricting eligible voters; such 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 disfranchising African-American and Native American voters, as well as poor whites. Initially, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Breedlove v. Suttles, 302 U.S. 277, found the poll tax to be constitutional. The 24th Amendment, ratified in 1964, reflecting a political compromise, abolished the use of the poll tax as a pre-condition for voting in federal elections, but made no mention of poll taxes in state elections. In the 1966 case of Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, the Supreme Court overruled its decision in Breedlove v. Suttles, and extended the prohibition of poll taxes to state elections. It declared that the imposition of a poll tax in state elections violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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How to pronounce poll tax?

How to say poll tax in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of poll tax in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of poll tax in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of poll tax in a Sentence

  1. Henry Klementowicz:

    Now, anybody who votes in New Hampshire will have to get a New Hampshire drivers license and register their car in New Hampshireand that can cost hundreds of dollars here, that is a fee that theyll have to pay simply as a consequence of voting. So we think thats a poll tax and thats wrong.

  2. Eric Adams:

    I can say this, that African-Americans are very clear on voter suppression, we know about a poll tax, we know about the fight that we've had historically.

Translations for poll tax

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"poll tax." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/poll+tax>.

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    Lengthy word or many syllables.
    • A. sesquipedalian
    • B. irascible
    • C. motile
    • D. tenebrous

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