A Treatise on the Law of Taxation, Including the Law of Local Assessments
Reprint of the uncommon first edition. As much a treatise as it is a handbook, which gives this book more than historical value, it examines the nature of taxation and sources of the power to impose taxes. Contents include "The Construction of Tax Laws," "Taxation by Special Assessment," "The Remedies of the State Against Collectors of Taxes," "Local Taxation under Legislative Compulsion" and "The Remedies for Illegal and Unjust Taxation." "The work is not a mere treatise upon tax titles, but is rather a profound statesman-like and judicial treatise upon the sources of the power of taxation, and the proper subjects upon which it may be exerted, as well as the legitimate mode of its exercise. Judge Cooley has discussed the various questions connected with the subject, in the light of principle, and has presented with clearness and cogency, the reasons underlying them, as well as the authorities in their support. (...) In other words, the author shows the principles whereon the successive steps of taxation rest, whatever may be the particular language of any statute respecting the same. The plan and execution of the work is a happy blending of the philosophical and practical, and the book must meet with a general and abiding approval as well as with a cordial and generous reception." --Western Jurist 10 (1876) 255 Thomas McIntyre Cooley [1824-1898] was the most important American jurist of the late-nineteenth century. One of the first three professors in the law department of the University of Michigan, he was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1864 and served as its leading justice for twenty years. He was a prolific author. His 1868 Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations Which Rest Upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union was his most important work. It went through six editions by 1890 and was cited more often that any other legal text in the late nineteenth century. His support for Grover Cleveland in the 1884 and 1892 elections contributed to his 1887 appointment by President Cleveland to the Interstate Commerce Commission, where he was the leading commissioner and set several important precedents for administrative process.
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Page 7 - The tax which each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to every other person.
Page 79 - And in deciding whether, in the given case, the object for which the taxes are assessed falls upon the one side or the other of this line, they must be governed mainly by the course and usage of the government, the objects for which taxes have been customarily and by long course of legislation levied, what objects or purposes have been considered necessary to the support and for the proper use of the government, whether state or municipal. Whatever lawfully pertains to this, and is sanctioned by...
Page 68 - There are limitations on such power which grow out of the essential nature of all free governments. Implied reservations of individual rights, without which the social compact could not exist, and which are respected by all governments entitled to the name.
Page 6 - The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.
Page 79 - It is undoubtedly the duty of the legislature which imposes or authorizes municipalities to impose a tax, to see that it is not to be used for purposes of private interest instead of a public use ; and the courts can only be justified in interposing when a violation of this principle is clear, and the reason for interference cogent. And in deciding whether, in...