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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, by

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


Na 25 Park Row, N. Y.



I HAVE endeavored in the following pages to give a summary of the principles of law involved in the system of taxation practiced by the States of the American Union, and their various subdivisions, and in the system adopted by the Government of the United States.

No attempt has been made to discuss questions as to what method of taxation is best adapted to raising revenue for the support of a government. These questions are properly in the domain of writers on political economy, and in the last few years have been ably treated by Mr. DAVID A. WELLS and others.

Most of the elementary principles involved in the law of taxation are discussed in works treating of constitutional law, the construction of statutes, and the duties and liabilities of ministerial officers. My aim has been to show the application of these principles to the subject of taxation, to state concisely the general doctrine, and then to trace the various modifications and exceptions as developed by the decided cases, so that the practitioner would not only have a summary of general principles, but a safe guide to the decided cases, on any question arising under the tax laws.

In the execution of the work, the power of the State to tax, and the limitations on that power arising from its nature, and from limitations in the Constitutions of the State and of the United States, are first treated. The license tax, the taxation of corporations, and exemptions from taxation, seemed to require special chapters. Then follows the assessment and collection of the tax, including the sale of land for non-payment of taxes.

Municipal taxation, or taxation by the subdivisions of a Stite, is treated in the same manner—first the limits on the power, and ben

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the mode of its exercise-giving special attention to the important and vexed questions growing out of Municipal Bonds and Local Assessments.

Federal taxation is discussed in the same mode—first the limitations on the power, and then the mode of its exercise. Many important questions on this branch of the subject have never been discussed in the courts of last resort, and decisions have been rendered only in the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, which are reported often only in the legal periodicals of the day. I have not failed to avail myself of such cases, as well as the rulings and decisions of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, where they throw light upon the subject.

The work is brought down to the 1st day of January, 1877, all cases of importance in print at that time being cited; and in the Addenda are cited cases appearing in print between January 1st and August 1st, 1877.

W. H. BURROUGHS NORFOLK, September, 1977.

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