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In public finance, an earmark is a requirement that all or a portion of a certain source of revenue, such as a particular tax, be devoted to a specific public expenditure. For example, in the United Kingdom a tax on televisions (known as the television licence) is directly allocated to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Earmarking bypasses the normal procedure by which tax revenue is pooled with all other revenue in a general fund and then allocated among various government spending programs.


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