Prior to the Revolutionary War, the Colonial Government was far less centralized than it became after the war, and had a limited need for revenue. Contrarily, each of the individual colonies had greater responsibilities, and thus greater (yet differing) revenue needs. The Southern Colonies primarily taxed imports and exports. Central Colonies occasionally imposed a property tax and levied a “head” (or poll) tax on each adult male, while the New England Colonies raised revenue through real estate, excises and occupation taxes.

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