By: Gotthard Deutsch
In Austria, as everywhere else, the Jewish communities imposed a tax on meat, the revenue from which was used for communal purposes. During the eighteenth century, however, the national government used this method of raising a revenue from the Jews in order to support educational institutions. Such was the case in Galicia after 1791. In the congregations belonging to the kingdom of Bohemia the meat-tax, with the tax on wine and fish, was used to compensate the government for the loss of revenue attending the abolition of the toleration-tax in 1782. It was about two kreutzer on one pound of meat and ten kreutzer on a goose. The tax was levied in such a way that the butchers had to give with every pound of meat a receipt for the payment of that duty, while in the case of fowl the shoḥeṭ was not permitted to kill unless the party requiring his services handed him such a receipt. This tax was farmed out to a contractor; he paid the government a fixed annual sum for the whole province and had his subcontractors in every town. The latter were almost invariably Jews, and exacted their money with merciless rigor. Those who attempted to evade the tax were heavily fined. The hardships entailed by the cruelty of these tax-farmers are vividly presented in Eduard Kulke's novels.
For the meat-tax in Russia see Korobka.
- Stöger, Gesetzliche Verfassung der Galizischen Judenschaft, Lemberg, 1831;
- Scari, Systematische Darstellung der in Betreff Juden in Mähren und Schlesien Erlassenen Gesetze, Brünn, 1835.