Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Steve R. Johnson (Florida State), The 'No Surplusage' Canon in State and Local Tax Cases, 65 State Tax Notes 793 (Sept. 17, 2012):
Previous installments of this column have examined numerous canons or conventions of statutory interpretation in their application to state and local tax controversies. This installment considers another canon: the precept that courts should prefer interpretations that render no part of a statute superfluous. ... The first part below describes the canon generally. The second part identifies the reasons advanced for the precept, the objections lodged against it, and the limitations on it. The third part gives examples of the canon in state and local tax cases, both cases in which its assertion was successful and cases in which its use failed.
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