Washington Law Review


On all sides one hears of the crying need for tax reduction. The owner of tangible property, particularly real property, constantly complains that the tax burden imposed is confiscatory While it has been the political slogan of each campaign that taxes will be reduced the public is beginning to realize that there is no relief to be had in this direction. The "public" demands too much of government today to even hope that such can be realized. The answer to the property owner's plea for taxation relief must be along the line of a new distribution of tax burdens. This has long been the remedy suggested by experts on taxation, and has, in the last two decades, received the approval and recommendation of numerous tax investigating committees and legislative bodies. The income tax is repeatedly urged as the best alternative, or supplementary, method by which this relief may be had. It is the purpose here to discuss the validity of income taxation for state purposes with reference to the objections that may be raised to such a system of taxation under the constitutional limitations upon property taxation. No attempt will be made to consider problems that arise in connection with such taxes, such, for instance, as questions pertaining to progressive features, exemptions, and the like.

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