Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Benefits theory: Historical insights.

"The theory of all taxation is that taxes are imposed as a compensation for something received by the taxpayer, and while general taxes are paid for the support of government in return for protection to life, liberty, and property, an assessment for benefits accruing to property by reason of public improvement, rests on the same principle. ...

The law makes a plain distinction between taxes which are burdens or charges imposed upon persons or property to raise money for public purposes, and assessments for city and village improvements, which are not regarded as burdens, but as an equivalent or compensation for the enhanced value which the property of the person assessed has derived from the improvement. ...
Taxes are levied for general public purposes on all alike, and are compensated by the equal protection of the government afforded to all; while assessments are laid for local purposes upon local objects and are compensated in local benefits and improvements to the property upon which they are assessed, and form a peculiar exercise of the general taxing power."

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