Constitutions, Corporations, and Corruption: American States and Constitutional Change, 1842 to 1852
AbstractBetween 1842 and 1852, eleven states adopted new constitutions, simultaneously creating procedures for issuing government debt and for chartering corporations through general incorporation acts. Why simultaneously? Voters wanted geographically specific infrastructure investments but opposed geographically widespread taxation. States resolved the dilemma by developing several innovative public finance schemes. One, taxless finance, used borrowed funds and special corporate privileges without raising current taxes. Another scheme, benefit taxation, coordinated the incidence of taxes with the geographic benefits of investments through the property tax. After the fiscal crisis of the early 1840s, states changed their constitutions to eliminate taxless finance in the future.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 65 (2005)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
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