Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Johnson: Counterpoint: A Sur-Rebuttal To Professor Jensen On The Constitutionality Of An Unapportioned Wealth Tax

Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), Counterpoint: A Sur-Rebuttal to Professor Jensen on the Constitutionality of an Unapportioned Wealth Tax, 39 ABA Tax Times 1 (Nov. 2019):

The Constitution requires that direct taxes must be apportioned among the states by population. Under Hylton v. United States (1796), if apportionment is not reasonable, the tax is not direct and apportionment is not required. If the tax base per capita is equal among the states, then apportionment by population yields uniform rates across the states, which is a just rule.

But wealth and real estate is not now equal per capita. Tax rates under apportionment would now have to be twice as high in Mississippi as in DC, and that is idiocy, so the taxes are not direct.

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