Special Taxation of the Jews

Special Taxation of the Jews.



The system of imposing a separate tax upon Jews proposed in England in the year 1689 was already in force in the West Indian Colonies. It seems to have been first imposed in Barbados. There these taxes were levied in kind (so many pounds of sugar) for local purposes.1

In the case of Jamaica we have more precise accounts available. In that island we know that when fresh taxation was imposed in 1686 the question was put in the Legislative Assembly ” Whether Jews that are shopkeepers as freeholders pay ?5 or ?3. Voted ?3.” At this time, therefore, it appears that the impost took the form of a poll tax not unlike the special poll tax upon Jews in force in England in the years 1689-91; but in 1688 it took the more obnoxious form of a lump

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