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To Save State Residents: States' Use of Community Property for Federal Tax Reduction, 1939–1947

  • Stephanie Hunter McMahon

Extract

In 1939, at the end of almost two decades of statewide want and despair, Oklahoma adopted the community property system “to save state residents on their federal income tax.” Between 1939 and 1947, Oklahoma and four other states openly and unabashedly exploited the Supreme Court's creation of what amounted to a tax loophole for the nation's wealthy; several more states seriously considered doing the same. In 1930, the Court had ruled that the community marital property regime of eight western states permitted their married couples to split family income between spouses, so that each spouse reported half of that income for federal income tax purposes. As a result of the federal government's progressive income tax bracket structure, in most cases this split meant that more of the family's income would be taxed in lower tax brackets. Thus, a property regime that was purely a creation of state law had the effect of reducing residents' federal tax obligations.

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1. Phillips in Favor of Tax Law Change,” Daily Oklahoman, April 6, 1939.

2. Oregon, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Michigan, plus the territory of Hawaii. See note 125 below.

3. Poe v. Seaborn, 282 U.S. 101 (1930); Goodwell v. Koch, 282 U.S. 118 (1930); Hopkins v. Bacon, 282 U.S. 122 (1930); Bender v. Pfaff, 282 U.S. 127 (1930); Mim. 3853, X-1 Cumulative Bulletin (1931). Technically California was allowed to split income in 1931. U.S. v. Robbins, 269 U.S. 315 (1926); U.S. v. Malcolm, 282 U.S. 792 (1931).

4. Couples in which each spouse earned roughly equal incomes were neither benefited nor harmed, except in rare circumstances. For example, see discussion in Willcox v. The Penn Mutual Life Ins. Co., 357 Pa. 581 (Pa. S.Ct., 1947), referenced below.

5. IRS, Statistics of Income Bulletin, Personal Exemptions and Individuals Income Tax Rates, Spring 2002, Publication 1136 (Revised 6–02), <http://www.irs.gov/pub/irssoi/02inpetr.pdf> (accessed July 1, 2008).

6. U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Statistics of Income 1939 (GPO, 1940), 6; U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Statistics of Income 1945 (GPO, 1951), 5.

7. For $1 million incomes, couples saved $23,921, but this was only 2.93 percent. Senate, Finance Committee, Revenue Act of 1948, 80th Cong., 2d sess., 1948, S. Rep. 1013, 23.

8. Costs could come in the form of increased federal tax rates to make up the lost revenue (but that would be spread across the entire country) and local confusion in administration.

9. A later paper will look at the federal government's response in 1948.

10. Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930); note 3. For further discussion of the cases, see below at pages 591–92.

11. Unlike with community property, there was no a priori guarantee that the government would recognize any particular common law device and none could transfer salary.

12. Allee, William Coit, “Community Property as Viewed by the Tax Practitioner,” Michigan State Bar Journal 26 (1947): 22. See also, McKenzie, Malcolm W., “Community Property as it Affects Titles,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 15 (1945): 973–80.

13. For example, between 1922 and 1932 there were over 100 community property cases in Washington. Mechem, Frank L., “Progress of Law in Washington Community property,” Washington Law Review 7 (1933): 367. See also, Resolution No. 1, Nebraska Law Review 27 (1947): 369; Mechem, Frank L., “Creditors' Rights in Community Property,” Washington Law Review 11 (1936): 8090; Dodd, William H., “Community Property in Pennsylvania,” Dickinson Law Review 52 (1947): 3438; Ricketts, Lewis R., “The Nebraska Community Property Law,” Nebraska Law Review 27 (1947): 215; Morton, Perry W., “The Nebraska Community Property Law,” Nebraska Law Review 27 (1947): 229; Garrett, Tom W., “Conveyance Under the Community Property Law,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 18 (1947): 1292–97; Trice, A. W., “Community Property Law,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945): 763–72.

14. Jones, Carolyn C., “Split Income and Separate Spheres: Tax Law and Gender Roles in the 1940s,” Law and History Review 6 (1988): 270, 274; Sturiale, Jennifer E., “The Passage of Community Property Laws, 1939–1947: Was ‘More than Money’ Involved?Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 11 (2005): 213–52; Gann, Pamela B., “Abandoning Marital Status as a Factor in Allocating Income Tax Burdens,” Texas Law Review 59 (1980): 169; Blumberg, Grace, “Sexism in the Code: A Comparative Study of Income Taxation of Working Wives and Mothers,” Buffalo Law Review 21 (1972): 4998.

15. Kessler-Harris, Alice, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 179. This discounts the simple truth that this model reflected reality for the majority of American families at the time and arguably reinforced the status quo by rewarding with the greatest tax savings the family with one wage earner. While McCaffery focuses on tax motivations, he also does not explain why some states changed and others did not. McCaffery, Edward J., Taking Women (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), 4557. This begins to tell that story.

16. One recent exception is Post, Robert, “Federalism, Positive Law, and the Emergence of the American Administrative State: Prohibition in the Taft Court Era,” William and Mary Law Review 48 (2006): 1183.

17. See, for example, Nicholson-Crotty, Sean, Theobald, Nick A., and Wood, B. Dan, “Fiscal Federalism and Budgetary Tradeoffs in the American States,” Political Research Quarterly 59 (2006): 313–21; Stark, Kirk J., “Fiscal Federalism and Tax Progressivity: Should the Federal Income Tax Encourage State and Local Redistribution?U.C.L.A. Law Review 51 (2004): 13891435. But see Purcell, Edward A. Jr, “Evolving Understanding of American Federalism: Some Shifting Parameters,” New York Law School Law Review 50 (2005): 635–98; Amar, Akhil Reed, “Of Sovereignty and Federalism,” Yale Law Journal 96 (1987): 14251520.

18. See note 96. The absolute amount of a taxpayer's state and federal tax obligations would not necessarily decline significantly. By reducing residents' federal income tax burdens, taxpayers would have smaller deductions for federal taxes paid when filing state income tax returns, making more income subject to taxation by the state. On the other hand, taxpayers gain vis-à-vis states that adopted federal rules governing taxation, including income-splitting.

19. Stark, , “Fiscal Federalism,” 1389. For more on the role of antitax public feeling as a fiscal constraint on the ability to build the federal state, see Zelizer, Julian E., “The Uneasy Relationship: Democracy, Taxation, and State Building Since the New Deal,” in The Democratic Experiment, ed. Jacobs, Meg and others, 276–300 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003); Kornhauser, Marjorie E., “Legitimacy and the Right of Revolution: The Role of Tax Protests and Anti-Tax Rhetoric in America,” Buffalo Law Review 50 (2002): 819930; Adams, Charles, Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: The Tax Revolts that Built America (New York: Freedom Press, 1998).

20. Basch, Norma, In the Eyes of the Law: Women, Marriage, and Property in Nineteenth-Century New York (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982); Rabkin, Peggy A., Fathers to Daughters: The Legal Foundations of Female Emancipation (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980); Siegel, Reva B., “The Modernization of Marital Status Law: Adjudicating Wives' Rights to Earnings, 1860–1930,” Georgetown Law Journal 82 (1994): 2127–57.

21. In McGuire v. McGuire, 175 Neb. 226 (1953), for example, Nebraska's supreme court refused to order a husband to supply indoor plumbing or clothing for his wife, although he was worth almost $200,000. See, Hartog, Hendrik, Man and Wife in America: A History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), 26.

22. For a period discussion of the community property system, see DeFuniak, William Q., Principles of Community Property (Chicago: Callahan and Company, 1943), §§3753;McKay, George, A Treatise on the Law of Community Property (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1925); Evans, Alvin E., “Ownership of Community Property,” Harvard Law Review 35 (1921): 4767.

23. Even lawyers in traditional community property states disagreed over the value of the wife's interest. See, for example, Daggett, Harriet S., “The Modern Problem of the Nature of the Wife's Interest in Community Property—A Comparative Study,” California Law Review 19 (1931): 567601; Sebree, J. Emmett, “Federal Taxation of Community Property,” Texas Law Review 12 (1934): 273302; DeFuniak, , “Review in Brief,” 6374; Magill, Roswell, “The Federal Income Tax on the Family,” Texas Law Review 20 (1941): 150–64; Ray, George E., “Proposed Changes in Federal Taxation of Community Property: Income Tax,” California Law Review 30 (1941): 404. The leading scholar of community property argued in 1925 that community property systems actually worked as a conservative influence by discouraging women from leaving the home and earning separate wages. McKay, , Treatise on the Law, 65.

24. Only rather late did community property wives gain the right to control their separate property. Until 1972, no community property state allowed wives to manage community property equally with husbands. Binaman, Anne K., “The Impact of the Equal Rights Amendment on Married Women's Financial Individual Rights,” Pepperdine Law Review 3 (1975): 26, 28.

25. For example, see Daggett, Harriet Spiller, “Trends in Louisiana Law of the Family,” Tulane Law Review 9 (1934): 89; Moore, Ben L., “The Community Property System and the Economic Reconstruction of the Family Unit: Insolvent and Bankrupt,” Washington Law Review 11 (April 1936): 6179; McKay, , Treatise on the Law, 65; Atman, George T., “Community Property and Joint Returns,” Taxes 19 (1941): 588–90, 612; Dodd, , “Community Property in Pennsylvania,” 24–5; Brown, Robert C., “Tax Problems Under the Pennsylvania Community Property Law,” University of Pittsburgh Law Review 9 (1947): 8.

26. Guy and Ella Earl entered an oral agreement in 1901, twelve years before the federal income tax took effect, likely as an estate-planning device. Cain, Patricia A., “The Story of Earl,” in Tax Stories: An In-Depth Look at Ten Leading Federal Income Tax Cases, ed. Caron, Paul L. (New York: Foundation Press, 2003), 285. See also, Petition before Board of Tax Appeals, 3, Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930).

27. For a good discussion of Lucas v. Earl, see Cain, , “Story of Earl,” 275311; McCaffery, , Taxing Women, 3745; “Appeals Income Tax Case,” N.Y. Times, February 12, 1930; “Pooling Income Decision Given,” L.A. Times, March 18, 1930; “Tax Brief Filed by Government,” Wall Street Journal, June 17, 1929; “Review Granted in Tax Case,” N.Y. Times, October 15, 1929.

28. Brief for Respondent, 11, Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930).

29. 281 U.S. 111, at 114–15.

30. See note 3 above.

31. Interestingly, the Grapes of Wrath was published the same year Oklahoma adopted the community property regime. “‘No Ad Valorem Tax’—Then What,” Tulsa Daily World, April 21, 1930; “Real Study of Taxation Essential,” Tulsa Daily World, April 11, 1930; “State ‘In Red’ Half Million,” Daily Oklahoman, October 19, 1930.

32. Taxation,” Oklahoma State Bar Journal 4 (1933): 4344.

33. During the 1930s, over one-third of the state's families had incomes between $500 and $1,500 a year, and in 1935 the median family income was only $1,160. However, only those families earning at least $2,500 a year were subject to federal income taxation. Bolin, Winifred D. Wandersee, “The Economics of Middle-Income Family Life: Working Women During the Great Depression,” Journal of American History 65 (June 1978): 62.

34. Quoted in Ware, Susan, Holding Their Own: American Women in the 1930s (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1982), 3.

35. Manes, Sheila, “Pioneers and Survivors: Oklahoma's Landless Farmers,” in Oklahoma: New Views of the Forty-Sixth State, ed. Morgan, Anne Hodges and Morgan, H. Wayne (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982), 129.

36. House Ways and Means Committee, Hearings on Revenue Revisions, 1947–48, 80th Cong, 1st Sess., 1947, 893(hereafter Hearings on Revenue Revisions).

37. “Tax Refugee Study is Set,” Daily Oklahoman, December 43, 1937.

38. “Analysis Shows State Loses Its Big Taxpayers,” Daily Oklahoman, February 4, 1940.

39. “Tax Burden Eased by Senate Action,” Tulsa World, April 28, 1939; Daggett, Harriett Spiller, “The Oklahoma Community Property Act,” Louisiana Law Review 2 (1940): 575–96; Campbell, Harry A. and Mosteller, L. Karlton, “Development Relating to the Oklahoma Community Property Act,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 13 (1942): 4951; Labovitz, I.M., “The Community Property System, Its Relation to Income, Estate, and Inheritance Taxation,” Part I, Taxes 9 (1931): 290.

40. Oklahoma was closely associated geographically, commercially, and culturally with Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico, each of which had the community property system, as did some of the state's local Native American tribes. Hale, Douglas, “The People of Oklahoma: Economics and Social Change,” in Oklahoma: New Views, 41.

41. “State Income is Six Million Short of 1938,” Daily Oklahoman, May 3, 1939; “Lack of Cash Darkens City,” Daily Oklahoman, May 14, 1939; “Reduction is Preferred to ‘No Pay’ Era,” Daily Oklahoman, April 28, 1930; “Audit Shows Fund For Pay Almost Gone,” Daily Oklahoman, April 4, 1930.

42. “High Income Theory Basis for Spending,” Daily Oklahoman, January 4, 1939; “U.S. Debt Due to Near Legal Limit in 1940,” Daily Oklahoman, January 6, 1939; “Pencils Fly on New Guess of Revenues,” Daily Oklahoman, January 28, 1939.

43. “Pencils Fly on New Guess of Revenues,” Daily Oklahoman, January 28, 1939; Humphries, George G., A Century to Remember: A Historical Perspective on the Oklahoma House of Representatives (Oklahoma City: The House, 2000), 45.

44. A taxpayers' group to study the state's economic program was established in 1939. Of its six proposed reforms, none involved the marital regime. “Six Reforms Fixed as Goal of Tax Group,” Daily Oklahoman, February 10, 1939. See also, Elmer Thomas to Fred Carr, 22 July 1937, Folder 13, Box 33, Legislative, Elmer Thomas Collection, Carl Albert Center, University of Oklahoma, OK (hereafter Thomas Collection); Elmer Thomas to C. T. Egerton, 24 July 1937, Folder 13, Box 33, Legislative, Thomas Collection; Campbell, and Mosteller, , “Oklahoma Community Property Act,” 49.

45. “Know Your Government Series No. 3, Comparisons of State Tax Systems,” Folder 20, Box 26, Gubernatorial Series, Robert S. Kerr Collection, Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives, University of Oklahoma, OK (hereafter Kerr Collection).

46. “Tax Burden Eased for Oklahomans,” Tulsa World, April 28, 1939.

47. Randolph, Roger S., “The Oklahoma Community Property Act of 1939,” Oklahoma State Bar Journal 10 (1940): 540–1. Throughout the period under review Oklahoma did not record the proceedings before the Oklahoma Tax Commission or the legislature.

48. See note 1 above. See also, Daggett, Harriet Spiller, “The Oklahoma Community Property Act: A Comparative Study,” Louisiana Law Review 2 (1939): 576; Trice, A.W., “Community Property in Oklahoma,” Southwestern Law Journal 4 (1950): 3845.

49. Randolph, , “Oklahoma Community Property,” 542.

50. The bill originally contained an emergency provision, meaning that the bill would automatically be effective once signed, but the provision was struck in conference. Under the state's constitution at the time, without an emergency clause bills did not become effective for ninety days after the legislature adjourned, and in the interim a referendum petition could be lodged to suspend the effectiveness of the law until voted upon by the people.

51. See, for example, “Womanhood is Indorsed, But After Battle,” Daily Oklahoman, January 25, 1939; Johnson, Edith, “Hard Times and Birth Control,” Daily Oklahoman, October 3, 1930; Babson, Roger, “Women Flood the Job Market,” Daily Oklahoman, January 7, 1939. But see Robert Kerr Recognizes Women's Economic Status,” Oklahoma Club Woman 11 (1936): 5; “Women and the New Order,” dated 1942, Folder 17, Box 1, Speeches, Kerr Collection.

52. Some original community property states allowed couples to elect out of community treatment as discussed below.

53. Hearings on Revenue Revisions, 893.

54. Once made, the election was dissolved only by the death of a spouse or by divorce.

55. Because wives were entitled to one-half of community estates upon the death of their husbands, while the law would not change the division of an intestate's property among heirs, it would reduce the amount of property subject to division. Until a husband's death, a wife without separate property had nothing but a barren, inchoate half-interest in the community which was in the absolute control of the husband to give, gamble, or gobble at his discretion and might be taken at divorce. “Tax Burden Eased for Oklahomans,” Tulsa World, April 28, 1939; HB 565, 1939, 2–1–3, Oklahoma State Archives, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK (hereafter OK State Archives).

56. Okla. Sess. Laws. 1939, c. 62, Art. 2 §§ 1–15, Okla. Stat. Ann. (Supp. 1939) tit. 32, §§ 51–65. For a detailed description of the various provisions of the law, see Daggett, , “Oklahoma Community Property Act,” 575–96; Winterer, E., “Mysteries and Delusions of Community Property,” State Bar Journal of California 12 (1937): 8788; Altman, George T., “Community Property: Avoiding Avoidance by Adoption in the Revenue Act,” Taxes 16 (April 1938): 140; Altman, George T., “The Oklahoma Community Property Law,” Taxes 22 (June 1944): 261.

57. “Oklahoma League of Women Voters—Program of Work,” Folder 4, 2006.16, Box 12[H], 1930s, John Dunning Political Collection, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK (hereafter OK Historical Society); Young, Louise M., In the Public Interest: The League of Women Voters, 1920–1970 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1989), 113–17. There was no mention of this from the Oklahoma League of Women Voters or the national Women's Bureau report on the state. See, Mrs. William C. Carson to Miss Marguerite M. Wells, 5 September 1940; Grace Arnold to Mrs. William J. Carson, 23 September 1940, Joint Income Tax, Box 449, Discrimination Against Women, Part II, Biennial Files, 1920–1946, League of Women Voters, Library of Congress (hereinafter LWV Papers); Box 388, Oklahoma, 1939–1940, Part II, Biennial Files, 1920–1946, LWV Papers; Box 475, Oklahoma, 1944–1945 and Box 199, Oklahoma, Part III, Records, 1918–1964, LWV Papers.

58. Casey, Orben J., And Justice for All: The Legal Profession in Oklahoma, 1821–1989 (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Society, 1989); Trotter, Patsy, Leading the Way: A Look at Oklahoma's Pioneering Women Lawyers (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Bar Association, 2003); Bellamy, Lou Etta, “History of Women Lawyers' Club of Oklahoma,” Oklahoma State Bar Journal 9 (1939): 182. From the surviving copies of the Citator, the group's monthly magazine, there is no indication that the group either supported or opposed the bill.

59. Mrs. Roberta Lawson Discusses Taxation,” Oklahoma Club Woman 12 (1937): 9.

60. Harlow, Victor E., “The End of Session,” Harlow's Weekly 51 (May 13, 1939): 2; Harlow, Victor E., “Killing the Goose,” Harlow's Weekly 51 (April 1, 1939): 3.

61. New Community Property law Offers Chance to Cut Taxes,” Oklahoma: A Magazine of Business 23 (May 3, 1939): 1.

62. Tax Cutting Property Law Now Operates in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma: A Magazine of Business 23 (August 17, 1939): 23.

63. Olds, Dwight A., “Bona Fide Purchaser Doctrine Should Be Applied to Community Property Dissolutions,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945): 1845. See also, Randolph, , “Oklahoma Community Property,” 850–53.

64. Taxation—Income Tax,” Columbia Law Review 44 (1944): 572. See also Buford, Paul N., “Community or Jointly Acquired Property,” Oklahoma State Bar Association Bar Journal 10 (1940): 957–59; Harsch, Alfred, “Control of Property Under the Oregon Community-Property Act,” Oregon Law Review 27 (1948): 247–73; Brown, , “Tax Problems,” 8.

65. Eagin, Frank and Eagin, Charles Everett, Community Property Law in Oklahoma (Tulsa: Mid-West Printing Co., 1940), 3.

66. Eagin, and Eagin, , Community Property Law, 206.

67. “U.S. Rules Out State Tax Law,” Daily Oklahoman, April 2, 1941.

68. Campbell, and Mosteller, , “Oklahoma Community Property Act,” 4950.

69. See also note 18.

70. This was the median for families with both spouses present. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, Series G353–371 (GPO, 1975), 353.

71. 189 Okla. 475 (October 14, 1941).

72. Brief of Defendant in Error, filed Nov. 27, 1940, Harmon v. OK Tax Commission, No. 30016, OK State Archives (hereafter Harmon).

73. Brief of Plaintiff in Error, filed Oct. 23, 1940, 8, Harmon. This argument was included in Harmon's plea for a ruling on the Act's constitutionality. Request for ruling on supplemental brief, filed Jan. 22, 1941, Harmon.

74. Brief of Plaintiff in Error, filed Oct. 23, 1940, 30, Harmon.

75. Harmon v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, 189 Okla. 475 (1941).

76. Wells, Anita, “Community Property,” 24 July 1941, 12; Ellis E. Manning to Mr. Wenchel, “Re: Oklahoma Community Property Law of 1939,” [n.d.]; Anita Wells to Roy Blough, “List of States Having Community Property Laws,” 6 November 1939; “Data from 1936 Community Property Returns with Net Income of $100,000 and Over,” 1 August -17 October 1939; “Suggestions for Study of Taxation of Community Property,” 10 September 1939; Anita Wells to Roy Blough, “Community Property Law in Oklahoma,” 29 August 1939, all in Box 54, Office of Tax Policy, RG 56, National Archives at College Park, MD. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue did not challenge the Act's constitutionality but did argue that this should not affect the taxability of the husband's income, arguing that it did not change the wife's interest. Brief for the Petitioner, Commissioner v. Harmon, Supreme Court Briefs, 4–5.

77. Harmon v. Commissioner, 1 T.C. 40 (1942). In a series of cases the Tax Court recognized the elective regime as effective for splitting income for federal income tax purposes. Charles L. Yancey, 1942 Tax Ct. Memo LEXIS 40 (1942); L. W. Prunty, 1942 Tax Ct. Memo LEXIS 41; Armais Arutunoff v. Commissioner, 1942 Tax Ct. Memo LEXIS 42; Thomas A. Creekmore, 1942 Tax Ct. Memo LEXIS 71.

78. Commissioner v. Harmon, 139 F.2d 211 (10th Cir., 1943).

79. This excluded income derived from Pearl Harmon's separate property.

80. Brief for the Petitioner, Commissioner v. Harmon, Supreme Court Briefs, 6, 8.

81. Timons, Bascom, “State Loses Tax Battle,” Tulsa World, September 21, 1944.

82. 323 U.S. 44 (1944) (Douglas dissenting).

83. Commissioner v. Harmon, 323 U.S. at 47–8. This was in spite of the fact that original community property states, including California and Washington, allowed married couples to contract out of the community property system, discussed in detail in the Commissioner's brief. See Brief for the Petitioner, Commissioner v. Harmon, Supreme Court Briefs, 5–9.

84. Malcolm might also limit the use of Seaborn in same-sex marriage cases. The Internal Revenue Service concluded in an internal memorandum issued February 24, 2006, that Poe v. Seaborn does not apply to same-sex couples. CCA 200608038 at <www.natptax.com/2006caincomesplit.pdf> (accessed May 1, 2009). See, Kratzke, William P., “The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is Bad Tax Policy,” University of Memphis Law Review 36 (2005): 399445; Cain, Patricia A., “Federal Tax Consequences of Civil Unions,” Capital University Law Review 30 (2002): 387408; Seto, Theodore P., “The Unintended Tax Advantages of Gay Marriage,” Washington and Lee Law Review 65 (2008): 1529–92.

85. Brief for the Petitioner, , Commissioner v. Harmon, Supreme Court Briefs, 22–6.

86. “The Treasury had consistently ruled that the Revenue Act applied to the property systems of those States as it found them and consequently husband and wife were entitled each to return one half the community income. The Congress was fully conversant of these rulings and the practice thereunder, was asked to alter the provisions of later revenue acts to change the incidence of the tax, and refused to do so.” Commissioner v. Harmon, 323 U.S. at 46–47.

87. Ibid., at 53; Brief for the Petitioner, , Commissioner v. Harmon, Supreme Court Briefs, 1214.

88. “Oklahoma Man and Wife Can't Split Income Tax, Court Rules,” Daily Oklahoman, November 21, 1944; “Tax Decision A Severe Blow to Oklahoma,” Tulsa World, November 22, 1944; Timons, Bascom, “State Loses Tax Battled,” Tulsa World, November 21, 1944. No one discussed the implications of its continuing to operate on previously electing couples.

89. “Oklahoma Man and Wife”; “Tax Decision A Severe Blow.”

90. Petition of Respondent for rehearing, Commissioner v. Harmon, Supreme Court Briefs, 2.

91. “Little Hope for Tax Law,” Tulsa World, November 22, 1944. People who made the 1939 election and split their income owed what they would have paid for the previous five years plus interest from March 15, 1940. The sum due was estimated at $10 to $12 million.

92. “Kerr Wants Any Tax Cut Equalized,” Daily Oklahoman, November 22, 1944.

93. Park, Ray, “State Tax Unit Raps Research Groups' Totals,” Daily Oklahoman, January 28, 1945.

94. “Little Hope for Tax Law,” Tulsa World, November 22, 1944. Even in this political environment, however, Governor Kerr considered calling a special session of the legislature.

95. Business Changes in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Business Bulletin 10 (1944): 6; Tax Collections,” Oklahoma Business Bulletin 11 (1945): 1; “Legislature Awaits Kerr's Suggestions on School Finance, Tax Cut Actions,” Daily Oklahoman, January 5, 1945.

96. “On the other hand, in those states which, by inheritance of Spanish law, have always had a legal community property system, which vests in each spouse one half of the community income as it accrues, each is entitled to return one half of the income as the basis of federal income tax.” Commissioner v. Harmon, 323 U.S. at 46 (emphasis added). “New Community Property Law for Oklahoma,” 25 January 1945, Folder 7, Box 2, Printed Material, Kerr Collection.

97. Trice compared the two statutes and found differences. Trice, , “Community Property Law,” 763.

It is the opinion of this author that the differences he identified were not terribly significant.

98. Ibid.

99. McKenzie, “Community Property”; Hamilton, Wm. S., “Oklahoma Community Property Law as it Affects Operation and Management of Savings and Loan Associations,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945): 1077; Ellifrit, Oron S., “Joint Tenancy and the Community Property Law,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945): 1101–4; Necessary Showing of Facts in Conveyance of Real Estate Under Oklahoma Community Property Law,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945): 1263; Trice, A.W., “Conveyances Under the Community Property Act,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945):1435; Evans, R. Rhys, “The Community Property Act of 1945 and its Effect on the Oil and Gas Industry,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 16 (1945): 1606–13; Olds, , “Bona Fide Purchaser,” 1843–7; Foster, Rayburn L., “Probating a Community Property Estate,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 17 (1946): 664–71; Bowman, Byrne A., “Taxability of Capital Gains on Separate Property,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 1 (1946): 823–32.

100. See note 12.

101. 101. “Kerr to Check New Tax Law,” Daily Oklahoman, April 20, 1945; “Kerr Approves 3 Major Bills,” Daily Oklahoman, April 29, 1945.

102. Folder 1945, H.B. 444, 2.1.3, OK State Archives.

103. L.D. Melton to Robert S. Kerr, 27 March 1945, Folder 27, Box 14, Gubernatorial Series, Kerr Collection.

104. H.B. 444 was amended in committee to address nontax matters. “Property Bill and Tax Law Stymie House,” Daily Oklahoman, April 24, 1945; Folder 1945, H.B. 444, 2.1.3, OK State Archives.

105. “U.S. Tax Collector Eyes State Laws,” Daily Oklahoman, June 3, 1945. Oklahoma did not record debates and reports were not made for this bill.

106. For example, see “Kerr asks Community Property Law to Aid Large Taxpayers,” Daily Oklahoman, January 11, 1945; “Tax Questions Now Hinge On Avoiding Boost,” Daily Oklahoman, January 12, 1945; “Session Quiet as Legislators, Governor Spar,” Daily Oklahoman, January 13, 1945.

107. “Little Hope for Tax Law,” Tulsa World, September 22, 1944.

108. “State of the State,” January 12, 1943, at <http://www.odl.state.ok.us/oar/governors/addresses/kerr1943.pdf> (accessed May 1, 2009).

109. “State of the State,” January 2, 1945, at <http://www.odl.state.ok.us/oar/governors/addresses/kerr1945.pdf> (accessed May 1, 2009); Gibson, Arrell Morgan, Oklahoma: A History of Five Centuries, 2nd ed. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981), 231.

110. “Kerr Asks Community Property Law to Aid Large Taxpayers,” Daily Oklahoman, January 11, 1945.

111. “State Senate Action Hits U.S. Income Tax Discriminations,” Daily Oklahoman, March 7, 1945.

112. “Tax, Oil Laws Due to Escape Vote of People,” Daily Oklahoman, June 13, 1945.

113. 32 Okla. Stat. Ann. §§66–82 (Supp. 1945). “Legislature Finished, Mass of Bills Up for Final Decision by Governor,” Daily Oklahoman, April 28, 1945; “Kerr Approves 3 Major Bills,” Daily Oklahoman, April 29, 1945. The 1945 statute repealed the 1939 Act, at least prospectively, and tried to extend retroactive tax benefits to previously electing couples. It is probable the repeal did not affect the agreement between electing spouses. Trice, A. W., “Some Constitutional Questions on Repeal of the Community Property Act,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 20 (1949): 1815. Trice also argued that the 1949 repeal, discussed below, did not affect rights arising from an election under the 1939 Act.

114. See Jones, Carolyn C., “Mass-based Income Taxation: Creating a Taxpaying Culture, 1940–1952,” in Funding the Modern American State, 1941–1995: The Rise and Fall of the Era of Easy Finance, ed. Elliot Brownlee, W., 107–47 (New York: Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Cambridge University Press, 1996); Leff, Mark, “The Politics of Sacrifice on the American Homefront During World War II,” Journal of American History 77 (1991): 12961318; Kennedy, David M., Freedom from Fear (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 275–6; Brinkley, David, Washington Goes to War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988), 125–26, 202; Higgs, Robert, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 198.

115. Norman Hirschfield to Kerr, 3 January 1946, Folder 27, Box 14, Gubernatorial Series, Kerr Collection.

116. H.W. Wright to Kerr, 4 October 1945, Folder 27, Box 14, Gubernatorial Series, Kerr Collection.

117. H.W. Wright to Kerr, 11 October 1945, Folder 27, Box 14, Gubernatorial Series, Kerr Collection.

118. Young, , In the Public Interest, 113–17; “The Record: Summary of Action taken under Active List,” April 1944–April 1946, League of Women Voters Papers on film, II. B.1 0145–48. See also Resolutions Adopted at the Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma State Federation of Women's Clubs, 22 April 1948, Box 3, Oklahoma State Federation of Women's Club, OK Historical Society. The National Woman's Party studied the community property system at the national level but did not formulate a coherent policy on the issue. Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley to Walter F. George, 26 August 1941, telegram, reprinted in Hearings on Revenue Revisions, 917; Burnita Shelton Matthews, “The Denial of Justice to Women—A Summary of Discriminations,” House Ways and Means Committee, Hearings on Revenue Revision of 1942, 77th Cong., 2d Sess., 1942, 1475–76. There are no records for this period for the Oklahoma branch of the National Woman's Party.

119. For a discussion of the Oklahoma Association of Women Lawyers, see note 58 above. “Association Opposes Anti-Busing Proposal, Value Added Tax,” American Association of University Women Journal (May 1972): 1.

120. Brief in Support of Application for Recognition of the Oklahoma Community Property Law of 1945,” Folder 27, Box 14, Gubernatorial Series, Collection, Kerr; “Kerr Asks U.S. Sanctions for New Tax Laws,” Daily Oklahoman, 5 June 6, 1945.

121. I.T. 3782, 1 Cumulative Bulletin (1946): 84.

122. (emphasis in original) “Report to the People,” 23 February 1946, Folder 25, Box 2, Speech, Kerr Collection.

123. “Annual Saving of $25 Million is Due Citizens,” Daily Oklahoman, December 21, 1945; “Community Property Decision Has Even Tax Men Guessing,” Daily Oklahoman, December 23, 1945.

124. Not much evidence of the exact cost exists, particularly because everyone but wives had an economic incentive to minimize any actual change produced by the law. Nonetheless, cases slowly moved through the Oklahoma court system. See Bagsby v. Bagsby, 184 Okla. 627 (1939); Greer v. Greer, 194 Okla. 181 (1944); Essex v. Washington, 198 Okla. 145 (1946); In re Bass Estate, 200 Okla. 14 (1947); Harris Trust and Savings Bank v. Burlingame, 200 Okla. 29 (1948); Draughton v. Wright, 200 Okla. 198 (1948); Bowman v. Bowman, 201 Okla. 384 (1949); In re Crane Estate, 201 Okla. 354 (1949); Swisher v. Clark, 202 Okla. 25 (1949); Mangum v. Mangum, 202 Okla. 95 (1949); Banta v. Banta, 202 Okla. 86 (1949); Champion v. Champion, 203 Okla. 105 (1950); Loverlady v. Loughridge, 20 Okla. 186 (1951); Crane v. Howard, 206 Okla. 278 (1951); Reding v. Reding, 206 Okla. 565 (1952); Davis Estate v. OK Tax Commission, 206 Okla. 644 (1952); Swanda v. Swanda, 207 Okla. 186 (1952); Hiskett v. Wells, 351 P.2d 300 (1959); Stinson v. Sherman, 405 P.2d 172 (1965); Catron v. First National Bank, 434 P.2d 263 (1967).

125. See note 121; Or. Laws 1943, c. 440; Or. Laws 1945, c. 270; Or. Laws 1947, c. 525; Michigan Law 1947, Pub. Act 317; Nebraska 1947, chapter 156; Oregon, Laws of 1947, ch. 525; Pennsylvania, Act. No. 550, 1947 session; Hawaii Revised Laws, 1945, ch. 301A; “Oregon Tax Balm,” Newsweek, June 21, 1943; Moshofsky, William J., “Repeal of the Community-Property Law,” Oregon Law Review 28 (1948): 311. For a good comparison of the laws, see DeFuniak, William Q., “The New Community Property Jurisdictions,” Tulane Law Review 22 (1947): [264–72.

126. For example, see “Magill Urges Cut in Federal Budget,” N.Y. Times, February 6, 1947; “A Special Summary and Forecast of Federal and State Tax Developments,” Wall Street Journal, January 8, 1947; “The Federal Tax Cut,” Hartford Courant, May 30, 1947; “Tax, Tax, and Spend,” L.A. Times, August 22, 1947; “High Taxes Will Last Until '48,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 1946.

127. However, for the limited constraint that this patriotism might have actually imposed, see above at note 114.

128. Student Editorial Board, The Community Property System,” Boston University Law Review 27 (1947): 443–59; Polisher, Edward N., “The Pennsylvania Community Property Statute: Its Federal Income, Gift and Estate Tax Implications,” Dickinson Law Review 52 (1947): 123; Fleming, Roscoe, “Other States Seeking to Tap Oklahoma's Pipeline into Treasury,” N.Y. Times, March 16, 1947; “Upper-Bracket Couples Can Hope for Tax Cuts in Split-Income Bill,” Wall Street Journal, October 18, 1947; “Community Dilemma,” Newsweek, October 13, 1947; “Community Law Opposed by Governor,” Hartford Courant, November 22, 1947; Bright, Myron H., “Community Property,” Bar Brief 24 (1948): 65. Some states, like Virginia, had already rejected a statute. “Va. Senate Eases Law on Ballots,” Washington Post, February 3, 1948.

129. Concurrent Resolution introduced by Hugo S. Sims, Jr., to House of Representatives, 8 January 1948, Milbank Legislative Files (MSS-0085–001), Folder 69.11, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.

130. Cobble, Dorothy Sue, Other Women's Movement (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 6066, 71–77; Kessler-Harris, , Pursuit of Equity, 205; Storrs, Landon R.Y., Civilizing Capitalism: The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 229–46; Rosenberg, Rosalind, Divided Lives: American Women in the Twentieth Century (New York: Hill and Wang, 1992), 138–58; Hartmann, Susan, The Home Front and Beyond: American Women in the 1940s (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982), 20, 60–7.

131. While 3.25 million women either quit or were fired between September 1945 and November 1946, nearly 2.75 million women gained new jobs, making the net decline of female employment about 600,000 women. Hartmann, , Home Front, 9295, 108; Rosenberg, , Divided Lives, 127–28, 134–36.

132. The median income for all women rose 38 percent during the war. Hartmann, , Home Front, at 92–95, 108; Anderson, , Wartime Women, 60, 161–64.

133. Income-splitting only benefited families with over $3,300 in annual income when $3,031 was the median family income. Most of its tax benefits went to 4 percent of taxpayers with incomes of more than $5,000. Bureau of Census, Historical Statistics, Series G179–188, 296; “The Modern Income Tax,” Fortune, December 1948; “Community-Property Tangles,” U.S. News and World Report, October 17, 1947; “Spread of Proposed Tax Cut,” U.S. News and World Report, January 24, 1947.

134. For good descriptions of Pennsylvania's economic and political development in this period, see Beers, Paul B., Pennsylvania Politics Yesterday and Today: The Tolerable Accommodation (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1980), 118–66; Sklein, Philip S. and Hoogenboon, Ari, A History of Pennsylvania, 2nd ed. (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1980), 472–73.

135. Act No. 159 (May 31, 1947); Act No. 160 (May 31, 1947); Act No. 543 (July 7, 1947); Act No. 544 (July 7, 1947).

136. Earlier community property bills S. B. No. 287 and S.B. No. 377, died in committee. H.B. 615 was introduced on April 21, 1947. The Pennsylvania legislature met every two years and did not consider a community property statute in 1945.

137. Press Release, 9 July 1947, Folder 1, “Senate Bill 615,” Box 11, Legislative Files, GM 1498, James H. Duff Papers, MG 190, Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA (hereafter Duff Papers).

138. There are four folders of letters both for and against the community property bill, most dated between June 25 and July 7, 1947. Box 11, Legislative Files, GM 1498, Duff Papers.

139. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Legislative Journal, vol. 30 (1947), 3224–29, 5561–71 (hereafter Legislative Journal).

140. Duff, and presumably other Republicans, received countless angry letters from Republican constituents on the rising levels of state taxation. See Folder “Taxes—Correspondence, Dec. 1947–June 1948,” Box 12, Legislative File, 1947–1949, GM 1499, Duff Papers.

141. Legislative Journal, 3227.

142. Ibid.

143. The Republican Philadelphia Inquirer, referring to the bill as a “tax bill,” published as a headline “Truman Veto Upheld By 2 Votes; State Bill Cuts Taxes for Couples,” June 18, 1947. The paper changed its description to the “community property law” once the Act was declared unconstitutional by the state supreme court. “Council Ready to Boost Wage Tax—Community Property Law Voided,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 27, 1947.

144. Sorg, Herbert P., Legislative Journal, 5571.

145. Press Release, Duffs Papers.

146. Legislative Journal, 3226, 5565. Moreover, this savings would benefit only a limited portion of Pennsylvania's married citizens. Ibid., at 3227–28, 5565.

147. Ibid., at 3227, 5565.

148. Hiram G. Andrews, ibid., at 5566. See also ibid., at 3228, 5565.

149. Ibid., at 3226–27. But see ibid., at 3327.

150. For example Fisher, C. Edmund, “Community Property Bill Lists Some Exceptions,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, June 19, 1947; “Community Property Veto is Urged,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 27, 1947.

151. Legislative Journal, 5564–66, 5568–69. Earlier in 1947 the Pennsylvania legislature had completed a two-year project revising its intestacy laws, granting less property and fewer rights to widows than the community property statute would provide.

152. On the other hand, some worried that the bill might destroy residents' ability to form tenancies by the entirety. Legislative Journal, 5563, 5565, 5568.

153. “Adjourn Assembly,” Harrisburg Patriot, June 18, 1947.

154. Legislative Journal, 5567. The general unease with the speed of its passage was shared by most of the legal associations of Pennsylvania, even if many lawyers supported the bill personally. See “Duff Hints He Will Sign Couples' Split-Tax Bill,” Philadelphia Inquirer, June 28, 1947; Philadelphia Bar Association to Duff, 28 June 1947, Folder “Senate Bill 615,” Box 11, Legislative File, GM 1498, Duff Papers; Goodrich, Herbert F. and Coleman, William T. Jr, “Pennsylvania Marital Communities and Common Law Neighbors,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 96 (1947): 119; Latta, Cuthbert H. and Gemmill, Kenneth W., “Observations of Some Pennsylvania Community Property Problems,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 96 (1947): 2047.

155. Legislative Journal, 3152.

156. Republicans who did not support the community property measure were either concerned about the bill's impact on inheritance rights or did not feel that they understood the bill. Ibid., at 5566, 5570.

157. “Duff Hints He Will Sigh Couples' Split-Tax Bill,” Philadelphia Inquirer, June 28, 1947; “Duff Weighing Community Property Bill,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, June 28, 1947.

158. On July 7, 1947, Duff signed S.B. 615, effective September 1, 1947. Pa. Laws 1947, Act. No. 550. For a discussion, see Polisher, Edward N., “The Pennsylvania Community Property Statute: Its Federal Income, Gift, and Estate Tax Implications,” Dickinson Law Review 52 (1947): 123; Booser, James H., “Half for the Better Half—The Pennsylvania Community Property Law,” Dickinson Law Review 52 (1947): 110–26.

159. Press Release, Duff Papers.

160. I.T. 3870, Cumulative Bulletin 2 (1947): 57; I.T. 3879, Cumulative Bulletin 2 (1947): 59. As a result of Willcox, discussed below, the rulings were revoked. I.T. 3884, Cumulative Bulletin 1 (1948): 52.

161. 357 Pa. 581 (Pa. S.Ct., 1947).

162. See Brief for Plaintiff, 10; Brief of Amicus Curiae from Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, 15; Brief of Mary F. W. Lewis, 13, each in Willcox v. Penn Mutual Life Ins. Co., Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Supreme Court Paper Books, 357 Pa. 572–602 (1947) (hereafter Supreme Court Paper Books). But see, Brief of Amicus Curiae from Lentz, Bernard V.Cushmore, C. Laurence, Lord, John W. Jr, White, Thomas Raeburn, Supreme Court Paper Books, 4, 20–1. Its appendix listed tax minimization as the purpose. Supreme Court Paper Books, 3a-4a.

163. Brief for the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 6, Supreme Court Paper Books.

164. Brief for Plaintiff, 21, Supreme Court Paper Books; Brief for the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 3, Supreme Court Paper Books. The other briefs submitted to the court refrained from taking a stand on this issue.

165. Willcox v. Pennsylvania Mutual, 55 A.2d, at 526–27.

166. This would only necessarily affect retroactive changes. For property yet to be acquired by a married couple, the husband had no vested rights.

167. The court was swayed because the husband exercised complete control over the community property; his personal creditors could reach community property held in his name; and a wife was statutorily prevented from suing her husband for illegal use of the community except in a proceeding for divorce or to protect or recover her separate property. Sturiale argues that the court's concern about wives' interests dictated its decision, but although the court argued in terms of the rights wives possessed, it did not take any steps to enlarge those rights. See Sturiale, , “Passage of Community Property Laws,” 250–52.

168. By this time, it was publicly known that Representative Harold Knutson (R-MN) had guaranteed Senator Harry F. Byrd (D-VA) that Knutson would introduce an income-splitting bill in 1948 in return for support on tax reduction. “GOP Promises to back Split Income Plan to Win Tax Cut Support,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 1947.

169. Also unknown is whether, if Congress had reduced taxes across-the-board as Knutson originally proposed, states would have still adopted community property regimes.

170. Democrats urged the adoption of a community property law. See, “Community Property,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 1947; “Community Property,” N.Y. Times, October 6, 1947; “State Asks Easing of Couples' Taxes,” N.Y. Times, December 14, 1947.

171. Chapman, Alger B., A Report on the Advisability of Adopting a Community Property Law in New York State (New York, 1947). The report contained no discussion of the impact the law would have on New York women or families.

172. “State Asks Easing of Couples' Taxes,” N.Y. Times, December 14, 1947. See also “Democrats Speed Reply to Dewey,” N.Y. Times, December 16, 1947.

173. It proved difficult for opponents to bring cases quickly. A declaratory judgment seeking to declare Nebraska's community property act unconstitutional was dismissed because of lack of proper parties and justiciable issues. Miller v. Stolinski, 149 Neb. 679 (1948). The Oklahoma state supreme court in Swanda v. Swanda, 207 Okla. 186 (1952), distinguished the Pennsylvania statute. See also Bulgo v. Bulgo, 41 Haw. 578 (1957).

174. See notes 12, 13, 23, 99, and 124.

175. Treasury Department, “The Tax Treatment of Family Income,” reprinted in Hearings on Revenue Revisions, 859–63.

176. Gosnell, Cullen B. and Holland, Lynwood M., State and Local Government in the United States (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1951), 247–51.

177. Revenue Act of 1948, Pub. L. No. 471, 62 Stat. 110, 111–12 (1948); House Ways and Means Committee, Individual Income Tax Reduction Act of 1947, 80th Cong., 1st sess., 1947, H. Rep. 180, 7.

178. State property law continued to govern the determination of property ownership and many other questions of federal taxation.

179. Okla. H.B. 13, 1949; Neb. Laws 1949, c. 129, § 6; Mich. Public Act No. 39, May 10, 1948; Ore. Laws 1949, c. 349. The repeal of community property statutes did raise legal concerns for newly created community property. See Trice, , “Community Property,” 3845; Trice, , “Constitutional Questions,” 1812–18; Cudlip, William B., “Repeal of Michigan Community Property Act,” Michigan State Bar Journal 27 (1948): 14; Woodruff, W. Preston, “The Effect of the Act Repealing the Community Property Law…and Suggested Procedure Thereunder,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 21 (1950): 8494; Note, Epilogue to the Community Property Scramble: Problems of Repeal,” Columbia Law Review 50 (1950): 332–51.

180. “Tax Questions Still Come In; Jones Replies,” Daily Oklahoman, January 12, 1948; “If So, Let's Repeal It,” Daily Oklahoman, December 7, 1947.

181. Cudlip, , “Repeal of Michigan Community Property Act,” 14.

182. Thompson, Joe B., Gray, Early Q., and Wallace, W.R. Jr, “The Constitutionality and Effect of the Repeal of the Community Property Law,” Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 21 (1950): 80.

183. To appease attorneys who were concerned about the technicalities of repeal, the Judiciary Committee added a provision providing for the recording of then-existing community property and a statute of limitation after which all community property would be deemed owned by the person in whose name title rested. State Legislative Council, Quarterly Meeting, November 22–23, 1948, Folder 19–4, Box 19, Record Group 8–M-1, Governor's Office Records, OK State Archives; Okla. Laws 1949, c. 229, § 2, renumbered from Title 32, § 83 [32–83] by Okla. Laws 1989, c. 333, § 2. eff. November 1, 1989.

184. “Don't Be Hasty,” Daily Oklahoman, January 27, 1949.

185. L.D. Melton to Turner, 10 January 1948, Folder 2–10, Box 2, Record Group 8–M-2, Governor's Office Records, OK State Archives.

186. “Repeal of Joint Property Law Up to Turner,” Daily Oklahoman, May 27, 1949.

187. “Public Hearing on Community Tax Law Called,” Daily Oklahoman, January 23, 1949.

188. Steve Stahl, 22 March 1949, Folder 53, Box 2, General, Carl Albert Collection, Carl Albert Center.

189. “State Taxpayers Turn in Record,” Daily Oklahoman, March 17, 1949; “Repeal of Joint Property Law Up to Turner,” Daily Oklahoman, May 27, 1949. In his inaugural address in 1947, he stated, “The community property law of 1945 is, in effect, a tax measure and a good one.” Inaugural Address, 13 January 1947, Folder 4–2, Box 4, Record Group 8–M-6, Governor's Office Records, OK State Archives.

190. Report to the People, 6 June 1949, Box 1, Folder 1–3, Record Group 8–M-6, Governor's Office Records, OK State Archives. Turner mentioned the community property regime earlier in 1947 when he pointed out it enabled married couples to save federal income taxes. oblige. Report to the People, 7 August 1947, Folder 2–7, Box 2, Record Group 8–M-6, Governor's Office Records, OK State Archives.

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To Save State Residents: States' Use of Community Property for Federal Tax Reduction, 1939–1947

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