Robert D. Mueller - Page 8

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            without the income-splitting benefit available to married                                  
            taxpayers.  We held therein that the classification between                                
            married and single taxpayers is founded upon a rational basis and                          
            was a permissible attempt to account for the greater financial                             
            burdens of married taxpayers and to equalize geographically their                          
            tax treatment.5  See id. at 558-559.                                                       
                  Our holding in Kellems is of no less application here.                               
            Congress had a rational basis for adopting marital                                         
            classifications in the tax code.  That conclusion is not altered                           
            by petitioner’s claim that there are additional classifications                            
            that could have been made.  Undoubtedly, certain inequalities                              
            persisted between married taxpayers and unmarried economic                                 
            partners following the enactment of the joint filing provisions.                           
            However, legislatures have especially broad latitude in creating                           
            classification and distinctions in tax statutes.  See Regan v.                             
            Taxation With Representation, supra at 547.  Moreover, “reform                             
            may take one step at a time, addressing itself to the phase of                             
            the problem which seems most acute to the legislative mind.”                               
            Williamson v. Lee Optical Co., 348 U.S. 483, 489 (1955).                                   

                  5Prior to 1948 each individual was taxed on his or her own                           
            income regardless of marital status.  However, under the Supreme                           
            Court’s decision in Poe v. Seaborn, 282 U.S. 101 (1930), married                           
            couples in community property States were permitted to split                               
            their community income evenly for Federal tax purposes regardless                          
            of the amounts each actually earned.  See Kellems v.                                       
            Commissioner, 58 T.C. 556, 558-559 (1972), affd. per curiam 474                            
            F.2d 1399 (2d Cir. 1973).                                                                  

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