Poll tax

Poll tax (Russian: podushnaia podat’). The basic form of direct taxation in the Russian Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was levied on every male (dusha ‘soul’), except members of the nobility, clergy, and government administration. The poll tax was introduced by Peter I in 1724 and was extended to Slobidska Ukraine in 1776, to Left-Bank Ukraine in 1783, and to Right-Bank Ukraine in 1796. In 1863 urban residents and tradesmen were exempted from the tax, and only the peasants were left subject to it. The tax was rescinded in Ukraine and European Russia in 1887.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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