Grading Basis: Graded
This course studies how the changing world has affected state taxation. The premises that underlie a traditional state tax system are under severe attack. Many state tax systems developed in a far simpler time--a time when substantial sectors of the economy, such as transportation, communications, banking, and power generation were either regulated or subject to significant federal controls. State tax systems evolved when the economy was dominated by mercantile and manufacturing activities, and little thought had to be given to the tax treatment of services. Multinational corporations and conglomerates were yet to emerge, and few corporations had substantial amounts of foreign income. It was a world in which corporations did not electronically transfer funds around the globe, 800-telephone numbers were not widespread, large mail-order houses had not yet proliferated, video shopping was still a fantasy, the Internet was not a household word, and the pace of federal tax reform was comfortingly slow. In addition, state taxes were typically low enough to discourage much litigation. Part of the course focuses on the economic, administrative, political, and constitutional constraints on state and local taxation. Specifically addressed are the commerce clause, the equal protection clause, the due process clause, and the privileges and immunities clause. Part of the course focuses on specific state and local taxes. The course does not concentrate on the laws of any particular state nor is any other prior course in taxation required.