Is an indirect tax levied on the value of land and often forms part of wider property taxation. Local government relied upon land taxes (in the form of rates) for much of their revenue from the mid‐17th cent. until the 1980s. Throughout the whole of the 18th cent. the land tax was the main source of government revenue. Introduced in 1693 to pay for the French wars of William III's reign, it sufficed until 1799 when the cost of the Revolutionary War forced Pitt to the even more drastic expedient of income tax. It was an object of Walpole's government in particular to avoid involvement in war so that the land tax could be kept down and the gentry content.