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Direct tax assessed simultaneously on the capital resources of all persons possessing taxable wealth in excess of a minimum value and paid at least partly out of capital resources. It aims at capturing a substantial portion of the taxpayers' wealth to enable the government to cope with a major emergency or to redistribute wealth. Capital levies were adopted in many European nations after World Wars I and II.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on capital levy, visit Britannica.com.