Extent of taxation re amount or rate


As the amount or rate of tax, the extent of the Legislature's power to tax is almost unlimited.

As a general rule, the legislature may levy a tax of any amount or rate it sees fit. If the taxes are oppressive or unjust, the only remedy is the ballot box and the election of new representatives. (Cooley 178-181) According to Chief Justice John Marshall, "the power to tax involves the power to destroy." (McCulloch vs. Maryland, 17 U.S)

To say, however, that the power to tax is the power to destroy is to describe not the purposes for which the taxing power may be used but the extent to which it may be employed in order to raise revenues. (Cooley 178) Thus, even if a tax should destroy a business, such fact alone could not invalidate the tax. (84 C.J.S. 46.)

Incidentally, our Constitution mandates that "the rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable." In a case, our Supreme Court said: "The power of taxation is sometimes called also the power to destroy. Therefore, it should be exercised with caution to minimize injury to the proprietary rights of the taxpayer. It must be exercised fairly, equally and uniformly, lest the tax collector kills the hen that lays the golden eggs. And, in order to maintain the general public's trust and confidence in the government, this power must be used justly and not treacherously." (G.R. No. L-25043; G.R. No. 125704)

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