You will note that every right listed below refers to one or more principles that underly every tax. The authors of this legislation recognized the economic climate in which their constituents lived. They understood that the citizens were sovereign and had rights. They also understood that those rights were compromised when that economy suffered.
Therefore, they recognized those rights in writing right in the implementation bill that supports the legislative resolution that restricts the power of the state of Nebraska to tax. How could these rights supported by that resolution work? The answer lies in understanding the principles of taxation and how they work.
You will note that every right listed below refers to one or more principles that underly every tax. Recognizing those principles assures us that this tax system works and is to be preferred above all other forms of taxes. To understand these principles thoroughly is what we intend to help you with here.
This list of taxpayer rights comes from Pages 6 and 7 of Legislative Bill 133, 187th Legislature, First Session. The cosponsors of this bill believed that the recognition of inherent rights needed to be in the legislation itself!
Sec. 6. This section establishes the Nebraska Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, which shall include the following: (Each right is cross-referenced by number to the Ten Principles of Taxation, which we will talk about following the list of ten rights.)
(1) A fair and just tax system (6. Neutrality, 9. Equality)
The citizens of Nebraska are entitled to a fair and just tax system, one which favors neither the poor nor the rich, neither rural dwellers nor urban dwellers, neither business owners nor laborers, and that is no respecter of race, religion, creed, or sex;
(2) Protection against government excess (3. Efficiency, 4. Stability)
The State of Nebraska shall live within its revenue means in the same way that a citizen lives within his or her revenue means.
(3) No state income tax (1. Simplicity, 4. Stability, 5. Visibility, 8. Broad-based, 10. Constitutionality)
The State of Nebraska shall never impose or collect a tax on the incomeof its citizens, whether such income tax be of a personal nature or of a corporate nature;
(4) No property tax (1. Simplicity, 4. Stability, 5. Visibility, 8. Broad-based, 10. Constitutionality)
The State of Nebraska shall never impose or collect a tax on the propertyalready owned by its citizens, regardless of whether such property is real or personal, tangible or intangible;
(5) No Nebraska estate tax (1. Simplicity, 9. Equality, 10. Constitutionality)
The State of Nebraska shall never impose or collect a tax on the estateof a deceased person or the inheritance of the heirs of a deceased person;
(6) Respect and protect your personal information (2. Noninvasiveness)
The State of Nebraska shall respect, protect, and secure the confidentialityof each person's personal tax reports and personal tax information, unless such rights are waived in writing by the person;
(7) Transparency and accountability (2. Noninvasiveness, 5. Visibility)
The Department of Revenue shall be subject to the citizens of the Stateof Nebraska by readily correcting errors of taxation and granting temporary relief to registered sellers suffering hardship due to the burden of paying taxes;
(8) No taxes below the poverty rate for any Nebraska resident (9. Equality)
Those citizens and legal residents of the State of Nebraska living at or below the federal poverty rate shall make no positive net contributionto the consumption tax revenue of this state;
(9) No business taxes (1. Simplicity, 3. Efficiency, 5. Visibility, 7. Economic Growth)
The State of Nebraska shall never impose or collect a tax on services or materials used to manufacture products, including agricultural products, for sale to the general public or to enhance services for sale to the general public; and
(10) Preferred above all other taxes (All Ten Principles)
Because the consumption tax manifests a security against government excess, it shall be preferred above all other tax systems in the State of Nebraska;
Over the next two months we will dig deep into why these rights are important to you — both for your freedom and your prosperity. Other methods of taxation are confiscatory in nature, depriving you of your property rights while putting counterproductive brakes on the economny. Learning these principles will help you understand why consumption taxation is superior to all other methods.
The numbered principles in parentheses following each right refer to the Principles of Taxation that tax attorney and expert, Dan Pilla, developed for the Heartland Institute, a think tank based in Chicago, Illinois. We will dig into each right and the principles behind it.