"Polls" column in tax lists

+1 vote
85 views
I am looking at some old Rehoboth, Mass. tax lists:

https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015008405790?urlappend=%3Bseq=119

There is a column labeled "polls". Most people get a 1, but a few get a higher number. Does anyone know what it signifies?
in Genealogy Help by Barry Smith G2G6 Mach 8 (86k points)

The Colonial Roots of American Taxation, 1607-1700 | Hoover ...

 
https://www.hoover.org › research › colonial-roots-american-taxation-160...
The colony's government required revenue of its own to carry out minimal public functions. Accordingly, the Virginia legislature authorized a poll tax on caucasian males 16 and older. The head of household and owner of slaves also paid poll tax on slaves and native American servants of both sexes 16 years and older.

3 Answers

+2 votes
by Marion Poole G2G6 Pilot (629k points)
Is that then males over 16? Over 21? Freemen?
+2 votes

 

by HJ Henderson - ‎1990 - ‎Cited by 15 - ‎Related articles
Taxation and Political Culture: Massachusetts and VirginiaI760-I800 .... Virginia, on the other hand, relied entirely on a uniform poll tax for parish and county
by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
+1 vote
Poll = head.  "Poll vote" = vote by headcount, 1 man 1 vote.  "Poll tax", originally, a fixed amount per head.  In England, John of Gaunt tried that in 1377, with a few exclusions.  Later attempts were graduated for the well-off, but with a general flat rate per head for the plebs.  Most plebs had never paid any taxes before, so not surprisingly there were riots.

So presumably in Rehoboth some people had to pay for more than one person.
by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (519k points)
edited by RJ Horace

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