What is a Per Capita Tax & Who Has to Pay it?

Discover the complexities of the per capita tax, including who is required to pay, what happens if they don’t, how it is regulated by law, and exemptions.
Per Capita Tax
What is a Per Capita Tax & Who Has to Pay it?
Communities rely heavily on the money generated by per capita taxes to support vital services; read more on its various aspects.
In this article

Adults 18 years and older within the taxing district are subject to a flat rate per capita tax. It does not depend on employment, income, voting rights, or any other factor except residence. But who has to pay for it? What happens if you fail to pay it? Let us learn about per capita tax in detail. 

What is a Per Capita Tax?

A per capita tax is a flat rate local tax payable by all adults living within the jurisdiction of the taxing authority. Moreover, local governments decide how best to use the money collected by per capita taxes. Hence, the exact uses might differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Who Has to Pay Per Capita Tax?

Per Capita Taxes are flat rates paid by all adult residents within a taxing jurisdiction. Percapita means per head, so it is also called head tax. In each billing cycle, there is only one per capita tax due. When you receive the tax notice, you must provide proof of payment to your new collector.

What Happens if you Don’t Pay Per Capita Tax?

If you fail to pay your tax bill, the bill will be turned over to a collection agency. The collection agency will charge a processing fee of at least $75. A delayed tax bill does not excuse payment of taxes or avoid penalty or interest for such a delay. You might also be charged a fine with bills and additional processing fees. 

Who is Exempted from Per Capita Tax?

In most cases, the Per Capita Tax is only exempted for those under 18. The tax notice will indicate if the age of dismissal is not 18. The occupation tax is exempt from some areas, including those that allow exemptions for students, disabled persons, and active military.

Are Per Capita Taxes Deductible?

Per Capita taxes are filed under other taxes and are a type of local tax. It is a deduction in the year it is paid. It is applied only to adults residing where the tax is present. 

Do Renters Pay Per Capita Tax?

Yes, renters pay per capita taxes. All adult family members who are renting must pay per capita tax. 

Is Per Capita Tax Legal?

Yes, per capita tax is legal. One must pay this local tax in addition to federal and state taxes. Residents living within a taxing jurisdiction must pay a flat local tax called the Per Capita Tax.


The per capita tax has nothing to do with property ownership or school attendance. It is entirely separate from Earned Income Tax and Local Services Tax. Sometimes, exemptions are granted for low-income, disabled, etc. There is no connection between per capita taxes and properties in any way. Your mortgage company is not responsible for paying your Per Capita Taxes. You should contact your local elected tax collector if you have sent your per capita tax bills to your mortgage company in error. Also, use Beem to file your income taxes at the best price and get the Maximum Refund.

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Team Beem

Team Beem brings you the latest in the world of personal finance to you. From tips and tricks on how to manage money to how to get cash for emergencies, Beem is your destination for all the information you need to be smart about your money.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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