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Tax Research - State and Local

This guide serves as a starting point for conducting research in state tax laws.


In some ways state and local taxation closely resembles the federal taxation scheme. As with the federal system, the state legislature is charged with passing its taxing statutes, similar to the Internal Revenue Code. Analogous to the Internal Revenue Service on the federal level, each state has a corresponding regulatory tax agency that passes state administrative regulations and rulings. Similarly, state courts generate judicial opinions, although most states do not have an official tax court.

State personal and corporate income tax issues can be researched largely in the same way federal tax research is conducted. Indeed, many states' personal income tax merely "piggybacks" on the federal income tax, and thus, a large component of the research will be in the federal sphere.

However, states engage in a wide variety of different taxes that are unrelated to income: e.g., property taxes, sales & use taxes, excise taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, and liquor taxes. Often, these different tax laws are scattered throughout the states' codes and are not codified together into a cohesive "tax code." Accordingly, using specialized state tax resources will help streamline the research process.

This research guide is designed to serve as a starting point for conducting research in state tax laws. It will include both print and electronic resources available in the Georgetown Law Library.

For more detailed information about conducting legal research in a particular state, please consult the Georgetown Law Library's state research guide for the state you are interested in.