Inequality, ability to pay and the theories of equal and proportional sacrifices

Brazil has one of the worst distributions of income in the world. The wealth of the richest 1% of the population is equal to that of the poorest 50%. Brazil has a greater concentration of wealth than ninety-five percent 
Brazil has one of the worst distributions of income in the world. The wealth of the richest 1% of the population is equal to that of the poorest 50%. Brazil has a greater concentration of wealth than ninety-five percent of the countries on which data is available. In the legal field, tax justice is based on the constitutional principle of the “ability to pay”, according to which taxes should be paid based on the economic capacity of the taxpayer. This principle first appeared in the Brazilian legal order in the 1946 Constitution, was excluded from the texts of 1967/69, and reappeared in § 1 of article 145 of the 1988 Constitution. The aim of this paper is to examine two possible grounds for the ability to pay principle (equal sacrifices and proportional sacrifices) to show how, in Brazil, the interpretations that seek to assign a positive content to the principle are limited to the horizons of a particular form of State associated with the theory of equal sacrifice. This theory for its turn is consistent with a theory of justice, under which no expense or charge levied by the government can alter the distribution of welfare produced by the market. As the application of the ability to pay principle is done within the limits of that horizon, as a consequence, this principle does not play an important role in the issue of reduction of inequality in Brazil.
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Metadaten
Author:Leonel Cesarino Pessôa
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-249538
Series (Serial Number):25th IVR World Congress: Law, Science and Technology Frankfurt am Main 15–20 August 2011 ; Paper Series (095)
Publisher:Goethe-Univ.
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Language:English
Year of Completion:2012
Year of first Publication:2012
Publishing Institution:Univ.-Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main
Release Date:2012/08/10
Tag:Brazilian Federal Supreme Court; ability to pay; distribution of income; equal sacrifices; inequality; proportional sacrifices; tax justice; theory of justice
Institutes:Rechtswissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Recht
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License Logo Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen

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