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Document Type

Article

Abstract

It has now been one hundred years since the passage of the first estate tax, and since that time the size and complexity of the federal tax system has only continued to grow. In the face of that complexity it is worthwhile for the United States to begin considering alternatives. Do we continue with our system of income and consumption taxation, or do we turn to a wealth tax? A wealth tax is sometimes criticized as being too complex, but there are reasons to suggest it is no more complex than our current system—and possibly even less complex. When analyzed, the main source of contention—valuation—is not actually as onerous as it seems. A wealth tax of about 1.6% may ultimately engender little opposition from taxpayers. Accordingly, this Article argues that the merits of a wealth tax are worth considering, and its drawbacks not insurmountable.

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