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poll tax

[pohl] /poʊl/
a capitation tax, the payment of which is sometimes a prerequisite to exercise the right of suffrage.
Also called head tax.
Origin of poll tax
1685-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for poll tax
  • Any fee, however indirect, that is required for one to vote is a poll tax.
  • All the administrative problems of a poll tax are involved.
  • He photographed church and labor groups organizing to do away with the poll tax.
  • It extended that right regardless of registration and poll tax requirements, as long as the voter met state qualifications.
British Dictionary definitions for poll tax

poll tax

a tax levied per head of adult population
an informal name for (the former) community charge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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poll tax in Culture

poll tax definition

A tax required as a qualification for voting. After the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution extended the vote to blacks in 1870, many southern states instituted poll taxes to prevent blacks from voting. The Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1964, prohibits poll taxes for federal elections.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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