What is the Repeal 16 Coalition?

The Coalition to Repeal the 16th Amendment, Repeal 16, is a national coalition of activists and organizations taking action to repeal the 16th Amendment, and end our corrupting tax system and the oppressive IRS.

The Coalition to Repeal the 16th Amendment (Repeal 16) is comprised of a broad range of individuals and organizations including the Tea Party Patriots, Americans For Fair Taxation, Americans for Limited Government, Competitive Governance Action and Free Market America.

The coalition does not advance a specific tax policy structure to replace the current tax code (e.g. FairTax vs. flat tax). It simply seeks to limit Congressional power to impose taxes on production (income, payroll, dividends, estates, etc.)

What is the Repeal 16 Bill?

Congressman Jim Bridenstine has introduced a bill (HJ Res 104) in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which allows the federal government to levy the income tax.

Why should we repeal the 16th Amendment?

It is time to redesign our tax system, and the place to start is repealing the 16th Amendment and prohibiting taxes on production. Fundamental tax reform is needed because the current system of taxation corrupts our economy, our politics, and our society.

The data collected by the IRS is intrusive. If you’re concerned about the NSA collecting your phone calls, consider that every April 15 you hand over to the IRS data about how much money you make, where you make it, who you give it to, what you spend it on, your children and dependents, and so on.

Concentrating so much power in a single agency (the IRS) is a bad design. The IRS has great discretion over how tax law is enforced – discretion that has been abused under multiple administrations, and both parties. The Tea Party suppression scandal is just the latest example of abuse.

The current tax code is an incumbent’s delight. The link between the tax code, lobbying activity, political fundraising, and incumbent protection is both clear and dangerous to the nation’s future.

Would repealing the 16th amendment also eliminate the payroll tax?

Yes. House Joint Resolution 104 proposes repeal of the 16th Amendment and elimination of the personal and corporate income tax, the estate and gift taxes, and taxes on investment earnings at the federal level.

Don’t we need to know what we will replace the income tax with before we abolish it?

There are many ways to fund the federal government without income taxes, and we don’t need to agree on the solution before we address the root problem. We didn’t need to agree on how to regulate alcohol before repealing the 18th Amendment and ending prohibition.

Many states used to impose a poll tax. When it became clear that system was being used in an abusive way, we passed the 24th Amendment prohibiting that tax. We didn’t wait to figure out what we would replace it with.

How does Repeal 16 get Congress to listen?

The repeal question must be an issue during the upcoming election season. Every Member of Congress must be forced to declare where they stand: with the American people or with the IRS.

“Repeal 16” will advocate for immediate passage of a bill repealing the 16th Amendment and make repeal a top issue in the 2014 Congressional primary election season.

Repeal 16 approach is straightforward:

  • Demand that every member of the House and Senate agree to co-sponsor the Repeal the 16th Amendment bill.
  • Deliver that demand by writing, and emailing legislators, rallying friends, attending town-hall meetings.
  • Engage in primary election activities against incumbents who choose to stand with the IRS and against we the people.

Has there always been an income tax?

No. The US federal government imposed its first personal income tax during the Civil War, on August 5, 1861, as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over $800 – $20,441 in 2013 dollars).

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system.

What does the 16th Amendment say?

The 16th Amendment states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Has repealing the 16th ever been proposed?

In 1999, a group of 34 members of the House of Representatives, including Rep. Dave Camp and Rep. Ron Paul, sponsored H.J.Res. 45: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 16th Amendment and abolish the Federal income tax.

Why not talk about how the 16th amendment was (allegedly) never ratified in the first place?

The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states. The IRS was created as a result of the 16th Amendment.

A number of court decisions acknowledge the constitutionality of the income tax based on the 16th Amendment…despite strong arguments by some that the ratification was flawed.

To avoid long and expensive court challenges with uncertain outcomes we believe that the best, most certain resolution is for Congress to pass House Joint Resolution 104 to repeal the 16th Amendment and to eliminate the personal and corporate income tax, the estate and gift taxes and taxes on investment earning at the federal level.

After ratification of House Joint Resolution 104 by the states, Congress will have two years to decide on an alternative to the income tax.

Why are we pursuing this through Congress rather than through an Article V Convention?

Seeking the repeal of the 16th Amendment via an Article V Convention and ending the income tax via approval and ratification of House Joint Resolution 104 are not mutually exclusive. However, we believe that the best, most certain path is for Congress to pass House Joint Resolution 104 to repeal the 16th Amendment and to eliminate the personal and corporate income tax, the estate and gift taxes and taxes on investment earning at the federal level.

Are there other proposals to repeal the 16th Amendment?

Yes, but HJR 104 is the strongest for two very important reasons; (1) HJR 104 bans the income tax and eliminates the possibility that Congress could impose both an income and consumption tax and, (2) HJR 104 grants Congress 2 years to create a method to collect revenues so there is no disruption to government and the economy.

Why don’t we instead (or in addition to) focus on the 17th amendment?

Winning passage and ratification of a single Amendment is difficult. While there are merits to repeal of the 17th Amendment, we are focusing our efforts of House Joint Resolution 104 and the repeal of the 16th Amendment.