Founders' Quote Database

Thomas Jefferson

letter to Joseph Milligan — 1816
Category: Taxation
For example. If the system be established on basis of Income, and his just proportion on that scale has been already drawn from every one, to step into the field of Consumption, and tax special articles in that, as broadcloth or homespun, wine or whiskey, a coach or a wagon, is doubly taxing the same article. For that portion of Income with which these articles are purchased, having already paid its tax as Income, to pay another tax on the thing it purchased, is paying twice for the same thing; it is an aggrievance on the citizens who use these articles in exoneration of those who do not, contrary to the most sacred of the duties of a government, to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to John Wayles Eppes — 1813
Category: Taxation
Taxes should be continued by annual or biennial reeactments, because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted, to be free.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to Joseph Milligan — 1816
Category: Taxation
To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

Thomas Jefferson

Rights of British America — 1774
Category: Taxation
Our properties within our own territories [should not] be taxed or regulated by any power on earth but our own.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to James Madison — 1784
Category: Taxation
Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to James Madison — 1784
Category: Taxation
Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to Gouverneur Morris — 1793
Category: Taxation
It must be observed that our revenues are raised almost wholly on imported goods.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to John Taylor — 1798
Category: Taxation
Excessive taxation...will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election.

Thomas Jefferson

letter to Lafayette — 1823
Category: Taxation
A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.