William & Mary Law Review


In the last several decades, there has been a marked shift in local government financing away from the use of general revenue taxes and toward nontax revenue-raising devices such as exactions. This Article argues that the Supreme Court, in its exaction cases, missed a golden opportunity to slow this troubling trend toward the greater privatization of local government financing. In addition, it explains how the Court's exaction cases are inconsistent with the goal of burden distribution as reflected in the Court's takings jurisprudence. The Article proposes that the constitutional standard applied to exactions be reformulated to account explicitly for burden distribution. Such a reformulation will make exactions law more consistent with the purposes of the Takings Clause and will constitute an important first step in restoring a more sensible balance between tax and nontax revenue-raising devices.