One of the goals of the present federal income tax system is to tax individuals to the extent of their ability to pay. This concept of vertical equity did not originate in the current century. Analysis of the tax laws of the American colonies results in the conclusion that our colonial forefathers attempted to measure the faculty or ability of individuals when enacting tax legislation. This paper analyzes the varied historic forms of the test to measure the capacity to bear the burden of taxation.
Kozub, Robert M.
"Antecedents of the income tax in colonial America,"
Accounting Historians Journal: Vol. 10
, Article 7.
Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/aah_journal/vol10/iss2/7