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Saturday, July 21, 2012

State Approaches to Increasing Use-Tax Revenue

Joel Griffiths (J.D. 2012, Kansas), Comment. Use It or Lose It: State Approaches to Increasing Use-Tax Revenue, 60 U. Kan. L. Rev. 649 (2012):

In the absence of Congress’s adopting a nationwide standard, states have struggled to find a constitutionally acceptable approach to increasing use-tax compliance and revenue. Three distinct solutions have developed: affiliate taxes, increased notification standards, and the Streamlined Sales Tax Project. Each approach offers a unique attempt to increase use-tax revenue while remaining within the boundaries of the law.

This Comment will explain each approach, evaluate each approach’s constitutionality, and determine whether the approach will actually raise revenue. Part II of this Comment describes both the current status of use taxes and the states’ approaches to increasing revenue therefrom. Part III begins by analyzing the constitutionality of each approach and continues with an assessment of the feasibility of state implementation. Finally, Part III concludes with a discussion of whether the respective approaches will actually achieve their goals: raising use-tax compliance and revenue.

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