Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Old law proves taxes are unlawful except for regulating commerce

Colonial Tax Repeal Act (1778)

An act for removing all doubts and apprehensions concerning taxation by the parliament of Great Britain in any of the colonies, provinces, and plantations in North America and the West Indies.... Whereas taxation by the parliament of Great Britain for the purpose of raising a revenue in his majesty's colonies, provinces, and plantations in North America has been found by experience to occasion great uneasinesses and disorders among his majesty's faithful subjects, who may nevertheless be disposed to acknowledge the justice of contributing to the common defence of the empire, provided such contribution should be raised under the authority of the general court or general assembly of each respective colony ...: it is hereby declared and enacted ... that, from and after the passing of this act, the king and parliament of Great Britain will not impose any duty, tax, or assessment
whatever, payable in any of his majesty's colonies ... in North America or the West Indies, except only such duties as it may be expedient to impose for the regulation of commerce;
the net produce of such duties to be always paid and applied to and for the use of the colony ... in which the same shall be ... levied.

And be it further enacted ... that ... so much of an act made in the seventh year of his present majesty's reign ...[7] as imposes a duty on tea imported from Great Britain into any colony ... in America ... is hereby repealed....

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