There are several federal statutes that limit state and local taxation, including the Internet Tax Freedom Act and Public Law 86-272. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, there have been calls to apply the “anti-commandeering doctrine” to invalidate or limit these federal laws.
In the latest installment of A Pinch of SALT for Tax Notes State, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Jeff Friedman and Alla Raykin explain why such calls are misguided. The anti-commandeering doctrine prevents Congress from commanding states enact laws or enforce regulations, it does not lessen Congress’s plenary authority to regulate interstate commerce. Congress’s constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce authorizes the preemption of state and local taxes.