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Taxation Without Representation May 1, 2006

Posted by federalist in Open Questions.
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I have begun to wonder about Constitutional foundations and restraints on taxation. Of course our Revolution could arguably have begun with a rally against “Taxation without Representation,” but I can’t immediately see that that theory ended up codified in any U.S. Constitution or law.

As a result, as best I can tell, we now have a situation where any government entity — state, county, or municipal — can levy taxes on any economic activity or property with a “nexus” to its jurisdiction. And in at least one common case, that can occur without the taxed individual having the right to vote for the government taxing him: I.e., we have nonresidents who commute to other cities, counties, and states for employment and who get taxed on wages they earn there but who can’t vote there.

Is this addressed in any federal law? Are you aware of any research or debate on this question that would apply to the current legal regimes in this country?

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