Vanderbilt Law Review


David A. Myers

First Page



this Article will first examine the theoretical function and form of state constitutions. This analysis can in turn be used to develop criteria for evaluating the content of these open space amendments. These criteria can then be used to suggest alternative methods of constitutional change that will allow state governments to respond most effectively to contemporary problems in the taxation of real property.

... This Article has been concerned with the various justifications for putting open space taxation provisions in state constitutions. It should be noted, however, that these amendments can have important negative effects on state constitutional law. Because every provision in a state constitution acts as a limitation on the plenary power to govern, the infestation of legislative matter changes the character of the document from organic law to "more of a geologic accretion of protections against the fears of the past."' As each additional layer becomes more elaborate, costly court decisions may be needed to interpret the meaning of these constitutional regulations.