The power to tax is, from its very nature, one of the most important powers possessed by the State. Aside from express constitutional limitations, the power places every person, every upation, and all forms of property subject to such pecuniary burdens as the legislature may see fit to impose, the manner of apportioning and enforcing the collections of the contributions levied being within the discretion of the law-making body which imposes them.

A classic statement of the extent of the taxing power is that of Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland.6 Marshal] says: "The power of taxing the people and their property is essential to the very existence of government, and may be legitimately exercised on the objects to which it is applicable to the utmost extent to which the government may choose to carry it The only security

Must the abuse of this power is found in the structure of the government itself. In imposing a tax, the legislature acts upon its constituents. This is, in general, a sufficient security against erroneous and oppressive taxation. The people of a State, therefore, give to their government a right of taxing themselves and their property, and as the exigencies of the government cannot be limited, they prescribe no limit to the exercise of this right, resting confidently on the interest of the legislator and on the influence of the constituents over their representatives to guard themselves against its abuse." "The power to tax," Marshall concludes, "involves the power to destroy."

5 Const. Lim., 7th ed., p. 715. 6 4 Wh. 316; 4 L. ed. 579.