Consumption Taxes and the Theory of General and Individual Taxation

69 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2001  

Robin Feldman

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Abstract

This article offers both an economic and philosophical analysis of modern consumption tax proposals such as the Flat Tax. It demonstrates that, given firm behavior, the proposals are likely to deviate substantially from individual taxation, which can be defined as taxing individuals for the value of what they consume. Although the proposals deviate from individual taxation, the philosophical underpinnings of consumption tax theory rest on individual taxation. The article concludes that if non-consequentialist and weighted welfarists theories of consumption taxation are important, one should choose other methods of implementing a consumption tax. If the design of the modern proposals is important, however, one should acknowledge that the proposals would tax consumption solely to promote overall economic growth.

Suggested Citation

Feldman, Robin, Consumption Taxes and the Theory of General and Individual Taxation. Virginia Tax Review, Vol. 21, No. 3, Winter 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=281406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.281406

Robin Feldman (Contact Author)

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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