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During the past few months, Tax Notes has featured an extended discussion about the "normalcy" (or lack thereof) of accelerated depreciation. Two contributions to that discussion came from Professor Calvin Johnson of the University of Texas Law School, who disagreed with certain aspects of an article that Professor Kahn wrote in 1979. And the debate shows no sign of slowing down. The interchange over the details of accelerated depreciation offers a useful backdrop against which to consider a more general issue: the intellectual coherence of the tax expenditure budgets. The larger concept of tax expenditures was what motivated Kahn to examine the "normalcy" of accelerated depreciation 13 years ago. And, to our eyes at least, the issues raised by the concept are no less interesting today than they were in 1979.


Reprinted with the permission of Tax Analysts.