Income Taxes Are Too High for Rigid Enforcement, Surrey Claims

Stanley S. Surrey, professor of Law, this week advocated lowering the tax burden on high income groups because "unfair" special favors granted by Congress to alleviate these burdens are undermining the present system.

This system is based on the theory that a man's taxes should be scaled according to his income; if he makes more, he should pay more. Congress has established rates up to 91 per cent.

In this week's Collier's Surrey claimed that these upper-bracket rates are not strictly enforced. Congress, out of a desire to help those paying such 'fantastically high rates," is constantly creating ways for certain groups to escape from the very taxes it imposes, he asserted.

According to Surrey, the trouble with these exemptions, however, is that they are given only to those with "sufficient pressures and skill to make their case appealing," and not on any fair or uniform basis.

He claimed that lowering the upper-level tax rates would not increase the tax burden on other groups if it were accompanied by rigid enforcement and elimination of loopholes.

He asserted that tax rates are too high if Congress will not enforce them. If our tax system is to be kept fair, Congress must be given "the strength to resist political pressures for favoritism by supporting a tax law that permits no favorites," he demanded.

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