The article analyses actions taken and normative acts issued that formed the basis for the functioning of the transport service tax (podwoda tax) (1546–1578). The impact of Lithuanian solutions on the system introduced in the Polish Crown (1564–1565) is assessed. The tax base and characteristics of rules and collection are presented in the article. The resistance of the nobility to the introduction of this tribute is described. The resistance was much stronger than that observed for even extraordinary (one-off ) taxes several dozen times higher. Reasons for the marginalisation of this tribute and the ever smaller amounts going into the Land Treasury of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania are also shown.
The article stresses that the only permanent annual tax in force in Lithuania was introduced in 1558. This state of affairs lasted until the reign of Władysław IV. He donated the quarterly tax (kwarta) to the treasury as income. The potential annual revenues resulting from the introduced tax ranged between 2,700 and 4,400 zlotys, and were allocated to the transport system based on transport service provision. The Transport Service Treasury (Podwoda Treasury) was to be supervised by the treasury guardian (skarbny), together with the treasury writer (pisarz skarbowy). Both were expected to pay the calculated amounts to messengers, envoys, and other people travelling for state purposes.