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The Myth of OwnershipTaxes and Justice$
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Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195150162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195150163.001.0001

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Tax Discrimination

Tax Discrimination

Chapter:
(p.162) 8 Tax Discrimination
Source:
The Myth of Ownership
Author(s):

Liam Murphy

Thomas Nagel (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195150163.003.0008

Since the distribution of tax burdens has no intrinsic moral significance, there is no genuine value of horizontal equity. Favorable tax treatment of owner-occupied housing is not intrinsically unfair, though it may be objectionable for contributing to social inequality. And a “marriage penalty” is not unfair, though it may be arbitrary. However the tax system can have discriminatory effects; for example, a combination of joint filing and graduated rates results in a disincentive for second earners (at present mostly women) to seek work.

Keywords:   horizontal equity, housing, marriage, discrimination, second earners, women

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