Head Tax

HEAD TAX was a tax imposed in 1885 on CHINESE immigrants to Canada by the federal government's Act to Restrict and Regulate Chinese Immigration. The tax began at $50, rose to $100 in 1900 and was set at $500 from 1903 to 1923. The Chinese were the only group ever taxed to enter Canada. The tax was removed in 1923 and replaced by a virtual ban on all Chinese immigration. During the years it was in force the tax was paid by 82,380 Chinese, producing $22.5 million in public revenue. In 2005, the federal government announced that it would contribute $2.5 million to education programs as a way of redressing the injustice suffered by Chinese Canadians as the result of the head tax, but it stopped short of a formal apology for the policy. See also PEOPLES OF BC.