Tax Research - State and Local Guide

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


Key to Icons

  • Georgetown only
  • On Westlaw
  • On Lexis
  • On Bloomberg
  • PDF
  • More Info (hover)
  • Preeminent Treatise
  • Study Aid


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.

For help researching related topics, please see the following Georgetown Law Library research guides:

Getting Started

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. 


The following books, discussed further under Secondary Sources, are good places to begin to learn about state tax law:

Additional relevant items from the library collection may be found using the following subject searches in the Law Library's catalog:


The following resources, discussed further under Loose-Leaf Services and Specialized Databases, are good places to begin research:


Should you have any additional questions, please contact the Reference Desk for assistance.

Williams Library Reference

Photo of Williams Law Library

Reference Desk:
Atrium, 2nd (Main) Floor
(202) 662-9140

Request a Research Consultation


Update History

Links 12/11 (JZ)
Links 8/13 (JZ)
Updated 2/21 (DGD)