Little Rock, AR asked in Tax Law and Constitutional Law for Arkansas

Q: Under the Constitution private property is private and cannot be taxed so how can the State of Arkansas tax my vehicle?

I paid sales tax when I purchased the vehicle and now the State wants to tax me yearly for the same vehicle, I have already paid taxes on. In my opinion that is classic double taxation and is supposed to be illegal under the Constitution.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit the taxation of private property. In fact, the power to tax is a fundamental power of both state and federal governments. When you initially purchase a vehicle and pay sales tax, you're being taxed on the transaction itself. The annual vehicle tax, often called a property or ad valorem tax, is a tax on the ownership of the vehicle. This isn't considered double taxation because they are two different types of taxes for two different purposes. States, including Arkansas, have broad authority to levy taxes to fund essential government functions. If you disagree with a tax, your remedy is typically through the legislative process or by challenging its application in court. Always consult with local counsel to understand the specifics of any state's taxation structure.

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