Property Tax - A Withering Vine

36 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2010 Last revised: 7 Nov 2010

See all articles by Jerry W. Markham

Jerry W. Markham

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law

Date Written: 1971


Should the property tax be retained and, if so, what changes are necessary to make it more effective and equitable? This Article attempts to explore and formulate an answer to these questions. Part I covers the evolution of taxation of property in the state of Kentucky. Part II, examines the principles upon which tax is based and how property tax in the view of tax theorists fails to conform to sound principles of taxation to be able to justify the continued existence of the property tax, ability to pay, simplicity of administration, the economic effect, the yield principle, and the benefit principle which places the cost of government services on those who receive the benefits of the service. Part II also suggests that the real obstacle to the elimination of the property tax, and perhaps the principle reason for its continuance, is the difficulty of finding an alternative revenue source. The need for a stable revenue source for local governments is one of the major domestic problems facing the United States. Part III of this Article discusses the flaws of the ad valorem property tax and proposes improvements of the administrative functions, such as assessors and assessment district, to changes in basic policy, as with tax exemptions.

Keywords: Kentucky, Property, Taxation, Reform, Justification, History, Kentucky State Tax Commission

Suggested Citation

Markham, Jerry W., Property Tax - A Withering Vine (1971). Kentucky Law Journal, Vol. 60, No. 1, 1971 , Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-37, Available at SSRN:

Jerry W. Markham (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law ( email )

11200 SW 8th St.
RDB Hall 1097
Miami, FL 33199
United States

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