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Ungeld

Designation (also Umgeld, Ohmgeld and locally also Böspfennig) for a former consumption and sales tax for the time being Wine and other alcoholic drinks like beer and spirits, Etymologically, the term derives from the Middle High German "gelt" (royalty, payment) and the reinforcing "un". Ohm again derived from the mhd. "Ame" (old liquid measure, wine measure bucket ). Ungeld was a corruption of the term "Ohmgeld" and meant in the original sense an "unfair" donation. This tax was in the 13th century in the Switzerland. Austria and Germany widespread. Sometimes it was also extended to foods such as salt, grain or meat. The handling of the inclusion or the amount of the tax was locally quite different, each region or city was according to its own laws.

Ungeld - wine tasting by mayor, book on the subject

Since the 16th century, the Ungeld was initially taken over by the sovereigns only as a levy on the beverage outlet. Gradually it developed into a tavern tax associated with the tavern law. In practice, the height was set before the unloading and Einkellern of the wine barrels of the "Weinsticher" by dividing a stick in two halves and led a part through the bung in the barrel one. The thereby festegestellte level was then held in both bars by cutting a notch. For the purpose of supervision, one staff kept the bribe and the second the owner (dealer or landlord). Often both functions were combined in one person. Either this tax was paid directly for the entire barrel volume in front of the city gates or markets or had to be paid monthly by the landlord depending on consumption.

There was also the custom that in a tavern the wine was only released after tasting by the mayor and only then could be served (see in the picture a contemporary representation). In the cure palatinate (Upper and middle Rhine, between Moselle and Kraichgau) was established in 1549 that all innkeepers and wine taverns of each measure (about 1.4 liters) of wine or beer had to pay a penny to pay. The Ungeld was very unpopular and one of the reasons for peasant wars and subversive revolts. In Switzerland, this tax was not repealed until 1887. A similar function for the determination of a quantity of wine had the wine Visierer, See also below Customs in viticulture,

Picture: Kurpfalz Regional Archive

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