Tulane Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 3 (April 1981), pp. 601-636. Reprinted with the permission of the Tulane Law Review Association, which holds the copyright.


The Louisiana First Use Tax is presently the subject of no less than eleven judicial proceedings in state and federal courts, including an original action pending before the Supreme Court and the Special Master to whom the case has been assigned. Any attempt to evaluate in detail the merits of these various challenges to the Louisiana levy in light of the myriad and complex issues they raise would hardly be possible in this forum. Indeed, at this junction, any such undertaking would probably be premature in light of the fact that many of the legal and evidentiary issues raised by the challenge to the tax have been explored, at best, only on a preliminary basis. Instead, I will approach the Louisiana First Use Tax at a comfortable distance from the details of the litigation over its validity. I thereby hope to be in a better position to suggest an appropriate framework for resolving some of the issues it raises.