A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

History: Poll Tax in the Matawan Journal

Here is a summary of some of the poll tax articles found in The Matawan Journal over the years:

3 Feb 1870 - Fifteenth Amendment ratified, prohibiting

12 Apr 1890 - Active firemen are exempted from the poll tax and other taxes up to $500, according to the Act of 1887, page 479.

17 Jan 1891 - (Page 3 (Supplement Page 1), Col 4) Governor Abbett said the poll tax should be abolished because tax collectors say it costs more to collect the tax than the tax is expected to provide as revenue. Also, it is primarily collected from property owners who are already paying taxes to the municipality.

8 Feb 1896 - (Appeared in the 7 Feb 1936 edition's Forty Years Ago column, Page 2, Col 3) The list of delinquent taxpayers is published in this issue. The number owing for poll tax alone aggregates $239,257 being due from white males and $83 from colored. The remaining unpaid taxes amount to $560.69.

17 Oct 1896 - (Page 8, Col 1) Neptune Township Committee planned to enforce collection of delinquent poll taxes.

27 Jun 1907 - (Page 1, Col 4) Monmouth County sent out new rules for tax assessors. "'Your attention is particularly called to that portion of Section 12, Article 3, of the revised act of 1903, which says: The Assessor shall ascertain and enter in the appropriate column the poll tax charged against this person.' A compliance with this law will be insisted upon by the County Board of Taxation."

19 May 1910 - (Page 8, Col 1) Perth Amboy sent out 3,500 poll tax bills 2 months ago and had a healthy response in revenue.

23 Nov 1911 - (Page 4, Cols 1-2) The poll tax is unevenly collected across Monmouth County. Bradley Beach has decided to stop collecting it because most of the voters are property owners and already supporting the election process financially. Freehold is one of the most efficient collectors. Some people would rather spend time in the county jail. The editors opine that the poll tax delinquent should pay the dollar and support municipal government.

30 Apr 1914 - (Page 4, Col 2) Based on a new law passed by the Assembly, New Jerseyans could refuse to pay the poll tax and choose instead to spend 14 days in jail. They must then be set free, having met their obligation.

19 Feb 1926 - (Page 5, Cols 3-4) Matawan Township anticipated $150 in revenue from the poll tax, based on its published budget. (Page 6, Cols 3-4) Matawan Borough anticipated $180 in revenue from the poll tax, based on its published budget. (These budgets appeared periodically throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

3 Mar 1960 - (Page 4, Col 5, Excerpts from Newsletter Sent Out by Senator Harrison A Williams) Progress on Civil Rights:. On Feb. 2, the Senate voted 70-13 for an omnibus constitutional amendment that would, among other things, outlaw the poll tax and give suffrage in federal elections to residents of the District of Columbia. Action on other civil rights bills will be, of course, sought at this session of Congress, but the amendment would deal effectively with part of the total problem. I voted for this bill. It must be approved by a two-thirds vote in the House before going to the States for ratification.

1964 - Twenty-fourth Amendment ratified, prohibiting poll taxes or any other taxes as prerequisites to voting.

1965 - Voting Rights Act of 1965


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