The power of Congress to levy direct taxes is not confined to the states represented in that body. Such a tax may be levied in proportion to population in the District of Columbia.1981 A penalty imposed for nonpayment of a direct tax is not a part of the tax itself and hence is not subject to the rule of apportionment. Accordingly, the Supreme Court sustained the penalty of fifty percent, which Congress exacted for default in the payment of the direct tax on land in the aggregate amount of twenty million dollars that was levied and apportioned among the states during the Civil War.1982


Loughborough v. Blake, 18 U.S. (5 Wheat.) 317 (1820). back
De Treville v. Smalls, 98 U.S. 517, 527 (1879). back