Direct Taxes – Article I, Section 9, Clause 4
The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, Fully Revised 2d ed. (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation and Regnery Publishing, 2014), pp. 207-09.
6 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2014
This essay discusses the apportionment rule in the Constitution that applies to direct taxes. Taxes that are direct (and are not taxes from incomes) must be apportioned among the states on the basis of population, regardless of how the tax base is spread across the country. That constitutional requirement makes direct taxes almost impossible to use, expect perhaps in times of war. This essay discusses the origins of the direct-tax clauses and considers what remains of the apportionment requirement today.
Keywords: direct taxes, indirect taxes, apportionment, taxes on incomes, Sixteenth Amendment
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation