Law360: Prof. John Brooks Discusses Latest Supreme Court Tax Decision


Fordham Law Professor John Brooks, a tax law and policy expert, is quoted in a recent Law360 article discussing how the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed, but did not entirely block the path to billionaire income tax legislation.

It’s worth noting that the opinion didn’t say anything particularly negative about taxing unrealized gains, according to John Brooks, a professor at Fordham University School of Law. The four justices who found that the Constitution requires realization had the benefit of not having to write the opinion and therefore didn’t have to determine how such a requirement would be workable, he said.

“I would put maybe higher odds on the constitutionality of a billionaire’s minimum income tax under this court than I maybe would have thought,” Brooks said.

As Brooks saw it, the government did seem to concede that a property tax would be a direct tax. But that isn’t the same as conceding that a wealth tax or a tax on net worth might be a direct tax, he said, noting that the opinion was “maybe trying to push a little bit of dicta in there against a possible wealth tax.”

Brooks added that in some ways, the court’s extension of the idea of a property tax to being a wealth tax is “the only really maybe bad dicta, in my view, for the government.”

Read, “Supreme Court Leaves Lifeline For Billionaire Income Tax” in Law360.


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