Fiscal federalism in the United States of America



political constitution, tax system, tax principles, fiscal federalism, constitutional jurisprudence.


The author explains the functioning of the decentralized system of the United States of America and its legal bases in the concept of federalism. He emphasizes that the tax authority is one of the most formidable powers of government. Such power is shared among the Federal government, the states, and local communities, as described in the federal constitution and the constitutions of each state. The article begins with a general discussion of the tax authority, its nature, its purposes, and its use. This follows with an explanation of the legal bases of Federalism in the Federal Constitution and the jurisprudence of the federal courts. Later, the author exposes about the tax system of the Federal government and the legal bases for the distribution of the resources collected among the states. He ends with some general observations. These include observations on aspects of the system that have generated critical comment and observations on the factors responsible for the well-functioning of the US tax system.

Author Biography

William Berenson, American University

William M. Berenson is a lawyer with the law firm of Jeffrey M. Lepon, SL in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1984, he has served as an adjunct law professor at American University's Washington College of Law in the Master of International Law program for foreign jurists.


Prof. William M. Berenson, Ph.D.

Washington College of Law, American University

Washington, DC

Adjunct professor of law and advisor of several international organisations


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How to Cite

Berenson, W. (2023). Fiscal federalism in the United States of America. Review of International and European Economic Law, 2(3). Retrieved from