Knowing Your Constitutional Rights [16]

Amendment 16

The Congress shall have power to law and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. (X)

What does this mean?

Well, let's take it into parts.

The Congress shall have power to law and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, 

This means that Congress can tax people based on their income - wherever that income comes from

without apportionment among the several States

If an Amendment could @ an Article in the Constitution this is essentially what it would look like.

Article 1 Section 2 Clause 3

SPEEDY TRANSLATION: Direct taxes are taken from states according to their population size.

What is that gibberish supposed to mean?

Direct Taxes
Tax taken directly from the taxpayer (individual).

Prior to this Amendment :
States supported themselves from sales tax, real-estate etc.
Federal Government supported themselves by charging taxes on imports.

In times of need (i.e. Civil War , Spanish-American War) the Federal Government could tax each state based on population size.
This was actually interesting learning about there being a Phone Tax during the Spanish-American War. You can read about that here: Federal Telephone Exercise Tax - Wikipedia
(Yes I know Wikipedia, but it details how often this tax was brought back in times of need)

What did Article 1 Section 2 Clause 3 do?
Basically say if California were considered 5% of the U.S. population and New York was considered 3% of the population - then California would be taxed 5% in Federal Taxes while New York would pay 3% in Federal Taxes.

small population = small percent of tax to be paid to Federal Government.
large population = large percent of tax to be paid to Federal Government.

What the 16th Amendment Fixed:
It doesn't matter what the population of the State is, all States are getting taxed the same way.

To put the first part & this small section together: Federal income taxes would not be divided (or shared with) states and will be based on the person's income not based on the State's population.

For some additional reading:

and without regard to any census or enumeration.

This means that collecting income taxes does not depend on the population of a State and that everyone - corporations, individuals - basically if you are in America and you have a pulse you have to pay taxes based on your income.
For additional reading, I'd recommend:

To Summarize:

‣ The amount you pay in taxes is based on your income
‣ This Amendment fixed prior ruling that tax amount was based on population size.

Complete side note - I can't imagine the colonists were jumping with joy when they pushed the tea in the harbor in part due to taxes increasing and then suddenly taxes appeared in Season 2 like that # thought you saw the last of me meme. 
 As in Season 1: British Empire
Season 2: Independence


In what ways has President Trump & his Administration done something that pertains to this Amendment:

Nothing at this time.

- If needed this will be updated from time to time.


Is there an Amendment you would like to more of?
to be taken to a list & choose which one you would like to learn more about.

This is a series that is ongoing - Each Wednesday [ #WednesdayAmendment] there will be an Amendment Explanation paired with what Trump & his administration have done that pertains to the Amendment discussed.


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