Three Felonies a Day, a book by Harvey Silverglate, argues that state and federal laws are so ubiquitous and ambiguous that the average citizen commits three felonies a day. Meanwhile, each of the 50 states has a constitution. Each constitution contains ambiguous limitations on state authority to tax. In each state, numerous taxes sit on the law books, each posing as a valid exercise of taxing power. Just like unwary citizens trip over the web of criminal laws, unwary legislators trip over ubiquitous and ambiguous state constitutional limits on taxing authority.
Overhead view of woman working at a desk

Every taxpayer faced with a new tax, a burdensome old tax, or an assessment should question the fundamental legality of that tax under the state’s constitution. In this 25-minute program, we will give you tools to do that. We will use brook trout, litter, and fireworks as fun case studies to show you how to analyze the serious tax liability facing your company. Substantive topics will include:

  • Uniformity clauses
  • Appropriations clauses
  • Legislative non-delegation
  • Single-subject clauses