According to the Wall Street Journal, "it has become evident in recent years that the serious business of governing the United States is largely being done in the States." Yet to meet the rising demand for public services, governments must raise revenue. This course is designed to introduce students to the legal and policy issues relating to state and local taxation. The course begins with an overview of state and local public budgeting, then considers the major federal constitutional and statutory limitations on state and local taxes. The course will then focus on three major sources of revenue, including the income tax, the retail sales tax and the local property tax. Several leading-edge legal/policy controversies will be examined in depth, including the rise of e-commerce and its effect on the state and local tax base, competition among state and local governments and the use of locational incentives to attract and retain business, the enduring influence of the “tax revolt” (e.g., Prop 13) on the financing of state and local government, and the problem of fiscal disparities in public school finance. There are no prerequisites for this course.