Thursday, June 9, 2022
Brian Fletcher, Con or Constitutional: An Analysis of the "Net Worth" Wealth Tax, 54 Creighton L. Rev. 87 (2020):
This Article is an in-depth analysis of the wealth tax proposals presented by former presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to determine if their proposals could be considered constitutional. As both plans propose a wealth tax based on “net worth,” this Article attempts to determine how a court or the tax code would most likely define this essential term for tax purposes. The proposals are then compared, in the context of United States legal history, to historically constitutional and unconstitutional federal taxes.
Although the tax code is free to define any term as it sees fit, a court would most likely find that a “net worth” wealth tax is more comparable to a “property tax,” i.e., a direct tax, and is, therefore, unconstitutional as proposed by the former presidential candidates.