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Abstract

This Article contrasts the permissive state taxpayer standing doctrines in place in most states with the restrictive federal and state taxpayer standing rules applied in federal court. It proposes a new theory to explain this disparity, arguing that ubiquitous state constitutional fiscal restrictions, which specifically limit a state government’s ability to tax, spend, and borrow, are a primary impetus in the creation and development of liberal state taxpayer standing doctrines. The Article evaluates this novel hypothesis through an empirical-historical survey of the early state taxpayer standing decisions in every permissive jurisdiction and finds that these provisions are indeed involved in most cases and in most states. It concludes by discussing the implications of these results.

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