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Cess is a tax.
It was the official term used in Ireland when it was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but has been superseded by "rate". The term was formerly particularly applied to local taxation.
In colonial India it was applied, with a qualifying prefix, to any taxation, such as irrigation-cess, educational-cess, and the like. They are collectively referred to as "cesses" in government censuses, e.g. "land revenue and cesses".
In modern India, it refers to a tax earmarked for a particular purpose, such as education.
The term is used by the rubber industry in Thailand to refer to Rubber Export Tax, which funds that country's Office of Rubber Replanting Aid Fund.
It has also been used by the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to denote a tariff on imports 
The term is a shortened form of "assess"; the spelling is due to a mistaken connection with census.
- CESS - Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Abbottābād Tahsīl - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 5, p. 1
-  "Agriculture Ministry considers applying cess to imported coffee"
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