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Emperor Joseph II's Taxation and Urbarial Patent (1789)

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In calculating the manorial dues, the same scale, allowing for the different quality of the land of which a subject’s holding consists, is to be applied as has been laid down for calculating the State taxation. Thus, the maximum rate for arable and vineyards is fixed at 15 florins, 25 kreuzer per hundred, for leys, gardens and fishponds at 26 florins, 2 3/4 kreuzer, for rough pasturage and woodlands at 30 florins, 50 kreuzer, and for lakes and rivers at 15 florins, 25 kreuzer, giving an absolute maximum average of 17 florins, 46 2/3 kreuzer.

Where, however, a subject has not at present to pay so much, his future obligations are to remain at the lower figure.

11. According to these principles, money is thus in the future the sole, immutable measure for determining all manorial dues; and in future, the manorial authorities are, as a general rule, not entitled to demand anything but money from the subjects. The two parties are, however, free to convert this monetary sum into dues in kind or labor, including wage labor, under agreement voluntarily entered into between them; but this agreement must be concluded each time for a minimum of three years, and attested by the Kreis office.

Should the lord and the subject be unable to agree on the value of the service [robot], work, or dues in kind previously rendered, the Kreis office, under the chairmanship of the Higher Committee for Tax Regulation [ . . . ] shall decide on the valuation of the labor services and work on the model of the State properties in the Kreis, where conditions are similar, on which the labor services have already been commuted for an equitable and reasonable cash equivalent; the dues in kind are to be valued in accordance with local prices.

[ . . . ]

If a subject is able to prove that the dues, etc., hitherto paid by him amounted to more than the estimated 17 florins, 46 2/3 kreuzer per hundred, the Kreisamt, under the chairmanship of the Tax Regulation Committee, shall reduce them to this maximum, and the subject is allowed a maximum of two years to produce the necessary documents, etc.

12. If a case of reduction of previous obligations arises, and if the subject’s obligations are towards more than one manorial authority and tithe beneficiary, each must concede a proportionate reduction thereof.

13. The regulations in para. 10 relate only to the so-called rustical lands, which have always been used as peasant holdings and under previous Patents can no longer be reconverted to demesne land, under pain of punishment; this irrespective of whether the tenure is hereditary and bought in, or not. In the case of demesne land no control is exercised over the agreements between the landlords and their tenants or emphyteutical holders.

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