A Place for Place in Federal Tax Law

16 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2019 Last revised: 17 Dec 2019

See all articles by Daniel J. Hemel

Daniel J. Hemel

New York University School of Law

Date Written: August 13, 2019


This essay — which is based on remarks at the 42nd annual Ohio Northern University Law Review Symposium — examines the place of place-based provisions in federal tax law. It uses the opportunity zone provisions in the December 2017 tax law as a springboard for considering the successes and (mostly) failures of previous efforts at place-based taxation, and then goes on to imagine possibilities for more productive place-based tax policies. One possibility is to use past location as an indicator for ability to pay. A second is to set different rate structures in different geographic areas (i.e., more progressive rate structures in high-income areas and less progressive rate structures in low-income areas) in order to encourage residential integration. A third is to treat place of upbringing as an asset in a comprehensive inheritance tax regime. Although the opportunity zone provisions show place-based taxation at its worst, the essay concludes that the promise of place-based taxation should not yet be written off entirely.

Keywords: place-based taxation, opportunity zones

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Hemel, Daniel J., A Place for Place in Federal Tax Law (August 13, 2019). 45 Ohio Northern University Law Review (2019 Forthcoming), University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 888, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 725, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3436899

Daniel J. Hemel (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics