Lawyers, especially constitutional lawyers, have long been concerned with the problems associated with the interstate incidence and shifting of state and local taxes. The Constitution has frequently been invoked as a restraint on the states' power to levy taxes on persons, property, or activities outside their borders. Yet the lawyer's view of tax incidence embodied in these constitutional disputes often bears little resemblance to the economist's. In recent years, however, lawyers have sought to import economic concepts of shifting and incidence into the legal analysis of the constitutional limitations on the states' power to export tax burdens to residents of other states. Despite the Supreme Court's refusal to constitutionalize the concept of excessive state tax exportation, lawyers' increased sensitivity to the economic issues associated with interstate incidence of state and local taxes may well have an impact on future court decisions and legislation in the domain.
Legal Perspectives on the Interstate Incidence and Shifting of State and Local Taxes
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