Progressive Taxation

Progressive Taxation

Montesquieu (who lived at the same time as the Physio; rats but was not one of their number), in his De I'esprit des lois (The Spirit of the Law), is the first to stress the importance of progres­sive taxation. This idea is one of the cardinal features of all mod­ern systems of taxation. In Montesquieu's opinion the necessities of life should not be taxed, but a graduated scale of taxation should be set for consumption above necessities. Useful things should bear some tax, and luxuries or superfluous things should be taxed most heavily. We shall see how Adam Smith and others incorporated this idea in their general systems of taxation.