Talk:State income tax

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Virginia State Income Tax[edit]

Virginia has a state income tax... according to [1] and this wiki article [2] the max taxation is 5.75%

Expanding the history section[edit]

Here I confess my failings and give references I didn't cite.

First off, I COMPLETELY ignored the corporate / individual distinction. For the colonial taxes this distinction is just about meaningless; for the state ones I went with individual every single time. So whatever else happens to what I did, at least a clarification is needed, if not actual insertion of all the corporate info.

I did things this way because my references don't really deal with corporate taxes much. Besides Rabushka, Kinsman, and Stark, cited, I used the following heavily:

Seligman, Edwin R. A. (1914). The Income Tax: A Study of the History, Theory, and Practice of Income Taxation at Home and Abroad. Second edition, revised and enlarged with a new chapter. New York: The Macmillan Company. The first edition had appeared in 1911; obviously, the Wisconsin and federal income taxed enacted in the interim drove the second edition. I do not know of a third.

Seligman, Rabushka, and Kinsman underlie pretty much everything from the beginning of the section to the Wisconsin tax. Exceptions: the references to West Jersey (instead of New Jersey) and to the "South-west part" of Carolina (instead of South Carolina) represent me going to the actual citations in Kinsman and Seligman to get answers. (The actual citation for South Carolina is also some pages off, at least in the pagination available if you go to the Internet Archive to consult the Google Books scan of volume 2 of Cooper's South Carolina <Statutes at Large>. The document in question is the first Cooper lists for 1702, but in fact enacted in 1701.)

Anyway, from there (including the Mississippi tax of 1912) to 1920, I used, but not much:

Comstock, Alzada (1921). State Taxation of Personal Incomes. Volume CI, Number 1, or Whole Number 229, of Studies in History, Economics and Public Law edited by the Faculty of Political Science of Columbia University. New York: Columbia University.

And EVERYTHING AFTER, except for the final paragraph, came from Web searches.

I tried to be responsible, and most of the dates I give come from such sources as legal decisions, state department of revenue documents, and so on, but in some cases I simply relied on half a dozen random websites agreeing on a date. I came nowhere near trying to reference each date asserted. This for three reasons: 1) I'd rather cite printed sources where possible; they're somewhat likelier to get things right even than legal decisions or DOR websites. 2) I'm not at all sure the structure I built, full of lists of states, is actually the ideal expansion of this section. 3) I found the whole thing exhausting enough as it was.

So OK. I'm going to give it some time to see if someone changes everything, and then (probably either in late Feb/early March, or in May) I'll try to get some references if it's still an issue.

Meanwhile, the following states just whupped me. Ones whose start dates I couldn't find: Iowa, Utah, and Vermont. Ones whose never having had an income tax I couldn't prove: Nevada, Wyoming. Ones whose not having had an income tax since the Civil War I couldn't prove: Florida, Texas. Ones whose start dates for subsequently abolished taxes I couldn't find: South Dakota, West Virginia. (Note that for all of the above, Comstock, who lists a bunch of 1919 events, provides a terminus post quem. Furthermore, Arkansas, in 1929, claims to have been the 13th state to institute an income tax; since they already existed in DE, MA, MS, MO, NM, NY, NC, ND, OK, SC, VA, WI, this implies IA, SD, UT, VT, and WV2 came later, and FL, NV, TX, and WY could not have come earlier; but of course Arkansas may have been misinformed. A scholarly paper much cited on the Web seems to date SD to 1933-1942, but I was unable to prove the 1933 part to my satisfaction and unable to read the paper.)

Oh, and one final issue with what I did: I was careless in my use of dates, which is pretty INSANE considering dates are almost all I did. Basically, I took for granted that a tax started with the year it went into law, which is defensible but unreliable. Worse, for stop dates I used any of: last law to state the tax (e.g. RI colonial); date of law abolishing the tax; year tax last collected; and you may even find one that's none of those.

The only change I made in the final paragraph (which was the only paragraph shown when I started) was to change "Lowel" to "Lowell" in Gov. Weicker's name. I am, however, deeply unconvinced any of it belongs in the section. (talk) 12:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Joe Bernstein,, still without a web page to demonstrate my meager scholarly credentials, but if the above isn't enough please see Judiciary Act of 1793

OK, I found a couple of charts listing start dates for corporate income taxes, and inserted a bunch of them. I also used, for more recent corporate income taxes, and to get start dates for IA, UT, and VT, a chart available at the Tax Foundation's website, although as best I can tell it's unreliable.

I considered, but decided not to, muddy the issue by referring to another kind of corporate tax discussed in volume 3 of the Willis committee report. (Dated 1965; 89th Congress, 1st Session, House Report No. 565. Chart p. 1017, discussion pp. 1010-1018.) This is a tax on gross receipts, as opposed to net income. The committee authors note that it's hard to distinguish such a tax from income taxes on the one hand and sales taxes on the other. Washington still levies its tax of this kind, the Business and Occupation Tax; I don't know about other states. As of 1965, the committe knew of the following:

  • Delaware, restricted categories of merchants (the Merchants' License Tax), from 1871
  • Delaware, manufacturers (the Manufacturers' License Tax), from 1913
  • West Virginia Business and Occupation Tax, from 1921
  • Georgia, 1929-1931
  • Mississippi Sales Tax, from 1930
  • North Carolina, from the early 1930s to 1961
  • New Mexico, from the early 1930s to 1963
  • Indiana Gross Income Tax, from 1933 (but mostly replaced by the 1963 corporate income tax) - the committee authors assert this one was also levied on individuals, not just corporations
  • South Dakota, 1933-1935
  • Washington Business and Occupation Tax, from 1933
  • Louisiana Occupational License Tax, from 1934
  • Hawaii General Excise Tax, from 1935
  • the District of Columbia, 1937 only
  • Alaska Business License Tax, from 1949 (most businesses were exempt).

As several of these taxes' names suggest, tax names and tax reality can be pretty disjunct. The committee looked at taxes according to what they taxed (sales, receipts, net income, etc.) rather than according to names. So another thing I chose not to muddy the waters with was a cross-reference to Franchise tax, which blithely claims that a franchise tax is normally based on net worth. Presumably that's why all California income taxes are collected by, ahem, the Franchise Tax Board. Related to this, besides my mistrust of some of the Tax Foundation's dates, I mistrust their classifications.

I'm running out of ideas for how to find authoritative cites for all these dates; the Willis committee confessedly got most of theirs from earlier tertiary sources. It's also perplexing how to make the dates uniform, preferably listing the years actually taxed. I'm tempted to start looking at ancient newspapers, for articles like "Don't forget, we now have an income tax!" Or at actual legal code. Secondary research on the subject seems to be next to nonexistent since 1921. Certainly detailed discussion enabling, for example, a disentangling of franchise from license from income taxes (especially in states that had or have several of these), is thin on the ground.

Meanwhile: This list format seems counter-productive. Would it be possible to turn much or all of it into a table? Problem is, there's multiple kinds of tax, and multiple states, and multiple years, so I'm not sure how to construct it.

All for now, and although this has been fun, probably all until February or May. (talk) 02:30, 8 January 2012 (UTC) Joe Bernstein again

2013 Update and Notability Question

OK, to judge by the edit history (not to mention at least a couple of egregious errors not commented on), this section isn't much read, but I still wanted to come back and fix it. What I've done in the past couple of days is an interim fix. I've found a bunch of new secondary or tertiary sources that cover things poorly handled by the sources I had previously cited. There are probably still a few temporary taxes omitted, especially ones ruled unconstitutional, but the list is a lot more complete. A lot of strangenesses have been removed. And a few uncertainties have been pointed out rather than glossed over, but other uncertainties remain unsignalled. (I got very tired of having to source every conflict between my sources, and there were a bunch.)

Some known issues:

1) As I said, there are a bunch of conflicts. The only way to resolve these will be to go back to original sources, which varies considerably in simplicity.

2) My coverage of Oregon and Washington is much fuller than my coverage of other states. This is because I'm in Seattle. I'll see what else I can find locally that covers individual states in more detail; the latest general source that's a real history, not just a chart, is a book I just realised I forgot to cite: National Industrial Conference Board, Inc. (1930). State Income Taxes. Volume I. Historical Development. New York. So, for example, I left Missouri in limbo using a non-modern tax system (tax run by local elected officials) because it hadn't modernised by that time.

3) I still have no handle on the differences between dates enacted and dates in effect for all these taxes. This will undoubtedly require going back to original sources.

4) I'd like to get, if not genuinely historical as opposed to chronological, at least more explanatory. State-by-state works should help with this.

5) I don't particularly want to get into most issues of tax administration, though withholding and federal-state coordination do interest me.

If I do go back to original sources, the section will bristle with a huge number of references - basically each line item in the existing lists will have its own reference, or at least each line item on which the sources I cite now (plus NICB 1930) disagree.

At some point along this path this evidently not-much-read section becomes WAY TOO BIG for a not-much-read section.

So if anyone actually reads this post, please advise.

Joe Bernstein (talk) 01:40, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Texas – no individual income tax but imposes a franchise tax on corporations ...[edit]

If it was repealed, then the statement is false. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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