Tax, State and Utopia
36 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2014 Last revised: 21 Jan 2014
Date Written: November 1, 2013
This article examines the appropriate tax treatment of communities through the unique example of the Israeli kibbutz, a community that is traditionally governed by the maxim "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." The case of the kibbutz highlights the tension between communities and the market in governing human interactions as well as the tension that exists between communities and the state in applying private schemes of redistribution.
The challenge communities pose for tax law is whether, and to what extent, the taxation regime should accommodate a community’s values and practices when they diverge from both market norms and society’s general scheme of redistribution. The article tackles this complex challenge from two theoretical perspectives it develops: the commodificatory effects of taxing non-market interactions and the division of labor between state and communities in bearing social safety net responsibilities.
Keywords: Kibbutz, Tax, Tax Policy, Commodification, Community, non-market
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