Ess, Henry N. A Treatise on the Power of Special Taxation: A Critical Analysis of Special Taxes for Local and Public Improvements, Considered with Reference to the Constitution, State and Federal, and the Restrictions Therein Contained. Kansas City: Pipes-Reed Book Co., 1907. x, 389 pp. Reprinted 2004 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584774112; ISBN-10: 1584774118. Hardcover. New. $95. * Ess [b. 1840] warns that the power of local authorities to tax real estate to fund public improvements is a threat because it is nearly boundless. Marshalling an impressive array of contemporary cases, and historical examples from Magna Carta to the present, Ess assails the law: "The unlimited power of the English Parliament should not have been given to our city councils.... The public work contracted to be done may be ruinous to the property taxed and to the property-owner, yet the tax-bills issued for doing this injury are sacred constitutional obligations and valid to all intents and purposes in the hands of the original wrongdoer. Our state constitutions rival the constitution of Hell and far exceed it in iniquity.": Preface, v, ix.
Book number 38286