Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1994

Abstract

This article is the second in a two-part series addressing the constitutional implications of acquisition-value real property taxation. This Article addresses constitutional issues raised by systems of real property taxation that base a property owner's tax assessment not on the current value of the property but on its value on the date the taxpayer acquired it. The first Article in this series described the operation of acquisition-value systems of real property taxation such as those adopted by California in 1978 and Florida in 1992, and evaluated the equal protection challenges to the California system (“Proposition 13”) which culminated in the United States Supreme Court's 1992 decision upholding Proposition 13 in Nordlinger v. Hahn. Although the Nordlinger majority determined that California's version of acquisition-value taxation satisfied the minimum scrutiny standard of equal protection review generally applied to schemes of taxation and economic regulation, that decision did not resolve all of the constitutional questions surrounding the tax disparities created by acquisition-value taxation. This Article therefore continues the analysis by evaluating acquisition-value taxation in light of two other constitutional doctrines. First, this Article examines the impact of these tax disparities on persons seeking to exercise their constitutional right to travel. Second, the Article addresses the burdens such tax systems impose on interstate commerce. If acquisition-value taxation indeed burdens travel or interstate commerce, its constitutionality should be evaluated under the stricter scrutiny that applies to interference with those protected interests.

Publication Citation

1994 Utah L. Rev. 1027 (1994).