This seminar will deal with various proposals for reform of federal and state tax laws. Particular attention will be devoted to issues currently pending in Congress and state legislatures. Problem areas will be reviewed from an economic, social and practical, as well as legal standpoint. The first half of the course will be devoted to a study of the basic underlying principles and objectives of a tax system. Coverage will include the ability to pay concept, redistribution of wealth, the influence of the tax system on socially desirable and undesirable conduct, the use of taxation to regulate the economy, the regressive nature of the Federal social security tax and state sales tax, and various state issues such as the financing of public education and local government services through the property tax. During the second part of the course each student will analyze in depth a specific area of the student's own choosing and will conduct a session of the seminar at which his/her conclusions and recommendations will be reviewed by the other members of the class.
Prerequisite: introduction to Taxation.