Taxation as inherent in sovereignty


The power to lax is an attribute of sovereignty. It is a power emanating from necessity. It is a necessary burden to preserve the State's sovereignty and a means to give the citizenry an army to resist an aggression, a navy to defend its shores from invasion, a corps of civil servants to serve, public improvements designed for the enjoyment of the citizenry and those which come within the State's territory, and facilities and protection which a government is supposed to provide. Considering that the reinsurance premiums in question were afforded protection by the government and the recipient foreign reinsurers exercised rights and privileges guaranteed by our laws, such reinsurance premiums and reinsurers should share the burden of maintaining the state. (G.R. No. L-22074)

The existence and operation of every government depend on taxation. Therefore, they can be no government without taxes collected. In fact, there is no need for a constitution to confer the power to tax because it is inherent.

Taxation is a matter of right on the part of the government. It is an inherent right. The power of taxation is an essential and inherent attribute of sovereignty, belonging as a matter of right to every independent government, without being expressly conferred by the people. It is a power that is purely legislative and which the central legislative body cannot delegate either to the executive or judicial department of government without infringing upon the theory of separation of powers. The exception, however, lies in the case of municipal corporations, to which, said theory does not apply. Legislative powers may be delegated to local governments in respect of matters of local concern. This is sanctioned by immemorial. By necessary implication, the legislative power to create political corporations for purpose of local self-government carries with it the power to confer on such local government agencies the power to tax. (G.R. No. L-31156)

Constitutional provisions relating to the power of taxation do not operate as grants of the power to the government. They merely constitute limitations upon a power which would otherwise be practically without limit. (1 Cooley 150). While the power to tax is not expressly provided for in the 1987 Constitution, its existence is recognized by the provisions relating to taxation.

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