while, at the same time, the humiliating inferiority 
of the latter would be in some measure 
alleviated, by being taxed somewhat more 
lightly. In other countries, the system of 
taxation, instead of alleviating, aggravates this 
inequality. In the dominions of the king of 
Sardinia, and in those provinces of France 
which are subject to what is called the real or 
predial taille, the tax falls altogether upon the 
lands held by a base tenure. Those held by a 
noble one are exempted
A land tax assessed according to a general 
survey and valuation, how equal soever it may 
be at first, must, in the course of a very moderate 
period of time, become unequal. To 
prevent its becoming so would require the 
continual and painful attention of government 
to all the variations in the state and 
produce of every different farm in the country. 
The governments of Prussia, of Bohemia
of Sardinia, and of the duchy of Milan
actually exert an attention of this kind; an 
attention so unsuitable to the nature of government
that it is not likely to be of long 
continuance, and which, if it is continued, will 
probably, in the long-run, occasion much more 
trouble and vexation then it can possibly bring 
relief to the contributors
In 1666, the generality of Montauban was 
assessed to the real or predial taille, according, 
it is said, to a very exact survey and valuation.[57] 
By 1727, this assessment had become 
altogether unequal. In order to remedy 
this inconveniency, government has found no 
better expedient, than to impose upon the 
whole generality an additional tax of a hundred 
and twenty thousand livres. This additional 
tax is rated upon all the different districts 
subject to the taille according to the old 
assessment. But it is levied only upon those 
which, in the actual state of things, are by 
that assessment under-taxed; and it is applied 
to the relief of those which, by the same assessment
are over-taxed. Two districts, for 
example, one of which ought, in the actual 
state of things, to be taxed at nine hundred
the other at eleven hundred livres, are, by the 
old assessment, both taxed at a thousand 
livres. Both these districts are, by the additional 
tax, rated at eleven hundred livres each. 
But this additional tax is levied only upon the 
district under-charged, and it is applied altogether 
to the relief of that overcharged, which 
consequently pays only nine hundred livres
The government neither gains nor loses by 
the additional tax, which is applied altogether 
to remedy the inequalities arising from the 
old assessment. The application is pretty 
much regulated according to the discretion of 
the intendant of the generality, and must, 
therefore, be in a great measure arbitrary
Taxes which are proportioned, not to the Rent
but to the Produce of Land
Taxes upon the produce of land are, in 
reality, taxes upon the rent; and though they 
may be originally advanced by the farmer
are finally paid by the landlord. When a 
certain portion of the produce is to be paid 
away for a tax, the farmer computes as well 
as he can, what the value of this portion is, one 
year with another, likely to amount to, and he 
makes a proportionable abatement in the rent 
which he agrees to pay to the landlord
There is no farmer who does not compute before 
hand what the church tythe, which is a 
land tax of this kind, is, one year with another, 
likely to amount to. 
The tythe, and every other land tax of this 
kind, under the appearance of perfect equality
are very unequal taxes; a certain portion 
of the produce being in different situations, 
equivalent to a very different portion 
of the rent. In some very rich lands, the 
produce is so great, that the one half of it is 
fully sufficient to replace to the farmer his 
capital employed in cultivation, together with 
the ordinary profits of farming stock in the 
neighbourhood. The other half, or, what 
comes to the same thing, the value of the 
other half, he could afford to pay as rent to 
the landlord, if there was no tythe. But if 
a tenth of the produce is taken from him in 
the way of tythe, he must require an abatement 
of the fifth part of his rent, otherwise 
he cannot get back his capital with the ordinary 
profit. In this case, the rent of the 
landlord, instead of amounting to a half, or 
five-tenths of the whole produce, will amount 
only to four-tenths of it. In poorer lands
on the contrary, the produce is sometimes so 
small, and the expense of cultivation so great
that it requires four-fifths of the whole produce
to replace to the farmer his capital with 
the ordinary profit. In this case, though 
there was no tythe, the rent of the landlord 
could amount to no more than one-fifth or 
two-tenths of the whole produce. But if the 
farmer pays one-tenth of the produce in the 
way of tythe, he must require an equal abatement 
of the rent of the landlord, which will 
thus be reduced to one-tenth only of the 
whole produce. Upon the rent of rich lands 
the tythe may sometimes be a tax of no more 
than one-fifth part, or four shillings in the 
pound; whereas upon that of poorer lands, it 
may sometimes be a tax of one half, or of ten 
shillings in the pound
The tythe, as it is frequently a very unequal 
tax upon the rent, so it is always a great 
discouragement, both to the improvements of 
the landlord, and to the cultivation of the farmer
The one cannot venture to make the 
most important, which are generally the most