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levy (something) on (someone or something)

To force a person, company, or country to pay some a tax, fine, tariff, etc., as punishment for something. The president threatened to levy new sanctions on the country in response to their human rights abuses. The regulatory body promised to levy steep fines on the companies responsible for the economic crash.
See also: levy, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

levy something (up)on someone or something

to place a tax on someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The Congress was very straightforward. It levied room taxes upon rich people. The city council levied a heavy tax on hotel guests.
See also: levy, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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