of his produce, it is still less likely 
to enable him to pay more rent to the landlord
The public, the farmer, the landlord
all suffer more or less by this degraded cultivation. 
That the personal taille tends, in many 
different ways, to discourage cultivation, and 
consequently to dry up the principal source 
of the wealth of every great country, I have 
already had occasion to observe in the third 
book of this Inquiry
What are called poll-taxes in the southern 
provinces of North America, and the West 
India islands, annual taxes of so much a-head 
upon every negro, are properly taxes upon the 
profits of a certain species of stock employed 
in agriculture. As the planters, are the greater 
part of them, both farmers and landlords
the final payment of the tax falls upon them 
in their quality of landlords, without any retribution. 
Taxes of so much a head upon the bondmen 
employed in cultivation, seem anciently 
to have been common all over Europe. There 
subsists at present a tax of this kind in the 
empire of Russia. It is probably upon this 
account that poll-taxes of all kinds have often 
been represented as badges of slavery. Every 
tax, however, is to the person who pays it, a 
badge, not of slavery, but of liberty. It denotes 
that he is subject to government, indeed; 
but that, as he has some property, he cannot 
himself be the property of a master. A poll-tax 
upon slaves is altogether different from a 
poll-tax upon freemen. The latter is paid 
by the persons upon whom it is imposed
the former, by a different set of persons
The latter is either altogether arbitrary, or 
altogether unequal, and, in most cases, is 
both the one and the other; the former, 
though in some respects unequal, different 
slaves being of different values, is in no respect 
arbitrary. Every master, who knows 
the number of his own slaves, knows exactly 
what he has to pay. Those different taxes
however, being called by the same name, have 
been considered as of the same nature. 
The taxes which in Holland are imposed 
upon men and maid servants, are taxes, not 
upon stock, but upon expense; and so far 
resemble the taxes upon consumable commodities
The tax of a guinea a-head for 
every man-servant, which has lately been imposed 
in Great Britain, is of the same kind
It falls heaviest upon the middling rank. A 
man of two hundred a-year may keep a single 
man-servant. A man of ten thousand a-year 
will not keep fifty. It does not affect 
the poor
Taxes upon the profits of stock, in particular 
employments, can never affect the interest 
of money. Nobody will lend his money for 
less interest to those who exercise the taxed
than to those who exercise the untaxed employments. 
Taxes upon the revenue arising 
from stock in all employments, where the 
government attempts to levy them with any 
degree of exactness, will, in many cases, fall 
upon the interest of money. The vingtieme, 
or twentieth penny, in France, is a tax of the 
same kind with what is called the land tax in 
England, and is assessed, in the same manner
upon the revenue arising upon land
houses, and stock. So far as it affects stock
it is assessed, though not with great rigour, 
yet with much more exactness than that part 
of the land tax in England which is imposed 
upon the same fund. It, in many cases, falls 
altogether upon the interest of money. Money 
is frequently sunk in France, upon what 
are called contracts for the constitution of a 
rent; that is, perpetual annuities, redeemable 
at any time by the debtor, upon payment of 
the sum originally advanced, but of which 
this redemption is not exigible by the creditor 
except in particular cases. The vingtieme 
seems not to have raised the rate of 
those annuities, though it is exactly levied 
upon them all. 
upon the Capital Value of Lands, Houses
and Stock. 
While property remains in the possession 
of the same person, whatever permanent taxes 
may have been imposed upon it, they have 
never been intended to diminish or take away 
any part of its capital value, but only some 
part of the revenue arising from it. But 
when property changes hands, when it is 
transmitted either from the dead to the living
or from the living to the living, such taxes 
have frequently been imposed upon it as necessarily 
take away some part of its capital 
The transference of all sorts of property 
from the dead to the living, and that of immoveable 
property of land and houses from 
the living to the living, are transactions which 
are in their nature either public and notorious, 
or such as cannot be long concealed
Such transactions, therefore, may be taxed 
directly. The transference of stock or moveable 
property, from the living to the living
by the lending of money, is frequently
secret transaction, and may always be made 
so. It cannot easily, therefore, be taxed directly
It has been taxed indirectly in two 
different ways; first, by requiring that the 
deed, containing the obligation to repay
should be written upon paper or parchment 
which had paid a certain stamp duty, otherwise 
not to be valid; secondly, by requiring
under the like penalty of invalidity, that it 
should be recorded either in a public or secret 
register, and by imposing certain duties 
upon such registration. Stamp duties, and 
duties of registration, have frequently been 
imposed likewise upon the deeds transferring