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2020 Census: What is Apportionment?

2020 Census: What is Apportionment?

States have differed on how to incorporate the sales factor in apportionment. In the early days of state tax apportionment laws, states did not include sales in the calculations, relying only on payroll and property. Over time, sales has become a more important factor in states’ apportionment calculations.

Since then, almost every state has adopted some form of economic sales tax nexus. There is also “click-through nexus” that applies to referrals to out-of-state sellers from in-state websites. In recent years, certain states have been more aggressive in their approach to nexus.

Changes following the 2010 censuses

The apportionment calculation is based on the total resident population (citizen and noncitizen) of the 50 states. Armed Forces personnel and federal civilian employees stationed outside the United States (and their dependents living with them) who can be allocated, based on administrative records, back to a home state. In accounting, apportionment refers to how a business divvies up and attributes its gross income. This is important when a company has several divisions or subsidiaries, or if it operates internationally.

  • The ideal number of members has been a contentious issue since the country’s founding.
  • As long as there is a partisan divide, there will be debates on the ideal size of our representative body and how best to apportion those seats.
  • On June 27, 2019, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s efforts after finding its use of the Voting Rights Act as the stated reasoning for adding the question “seems to have been contrived,” as Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s 5-4 majority opinion.
  • With the House size static, even states that gain in population from one census to the next can still lose seats.

In recent decades, U.S. population has been shifting south and west, garnering more House seats for states like Texas and Florida, and fewer for states in the Northeast and upper Midwest. To calculate the apportionment for a three-factor formula with a variable sales factor, the formula still considers payroll, property, and sales, but it gives extra weight to sales. In Massachusetts, for example, a company that has 20% of its profits in the state would add 40% into the formula for sales. After adding up the amounts — say 50% of property and 50% of payroll, plus the 40% of sales — you divide this number by 4. In this case, Massachusetts could tax 35% of the firm’s net earnings.

Corporate Tax Rates around the World, 2023

Many states have adopted single sales factor apportionment as a way to “export” the state’s corporate income tax burden. House of Representatives refers to the total number of congressional districts (or seats) into which the land area of the United States proper has been divided. There are an additional five delegates to the House of Representatives.

Apportionment and the US Census

Apportionment is one of the most important functions of the decennial census. House of Representatives can be correctly apportioned among the states. Until the middle of the twentieth century, Congress enacted new apportionment legislation following almost every census. The tax was imposed by Congress as a one-time payment to cover the transfer from one international tax rule to another. Under the old system, if you earned foreign income overseas in a foreign corporation that you owned, you wouldn’t have to pay taxes on those earnings until you brought the profits back to the United States. Congress saw that as a perverse incentive to keep profits offshore, and by some estimates there was as much as $3 trillion in shielded offshore profits.


Because the deadline for the House Clerk to report the results does not occur until the following January, and the states need sufficient time to perform the redistricting, the decennial census does not affect the elections that are held during that same year. The decennial apportionment also determines the size of each state’s representation in the U.S. Constitution, the number of electors of any state equals the size of its total congressional delegation (House and Senate seats). As the U.S. economy has changed from manufacturing to more service-based and technology has reduced payroll costs for many companies, there has been a shift in apportionment away from property and payroll factors and more emphasis on sales factors.

Apportion Sentence Examples

I take for granted here what I shall, in answering the fourth objection, hereinafter show, that the number of representatives will be augmented from time to time in the manner provided by the Constitution. On a contrary supposition, I should admit the objection to have very great weight indeed. Apportionment is one of the most important processes in U.S. politics, but don’t worry if you’re a bit hazy on a term that only emerges in the press once a decade.

Schedule A and tax-deductible donations to charities

This web-based software solution can help you manage your data, consistently apply the right calculation methods, and provide a trackable solution for audits. With tools such as these, even the smallest tax team can stay on top of everything it needs to know to manage state income tax. Apportionment is a term used in accounting to describe the way a business separates and distributes a portion of its gross income. This can also apply to a company’s overheads as a way to calculate the correct costs, especially when the business is spread across different departments, subsidiaries or countries of operation. States use different apportionment formulas and different sourcing rules to attribute sales to a state. In the sales formula, sales can be assigned based on “cost of performance,” where income-producing activities are performed and costs are incurred, or “market-based,” where customers are located or goods and services are delivered.

Yes, they concede their investment has increased in value by well over a half-million dollars. But, they maintain that because they have not yet received any actual money, they are being unconstitutionally taxed on unrealized income. The operative understanding of what the amendment has meant for more than a century is now being challenged by Charles and Kathleen Moore.

Some states have a formula in place that must be followed, for example. In any case, usually the party or parties with the largest representation or stake will receive the largest proportion. To ensure accuracy, multiple selected staff members from different areas of the Census Bureau each independently wrote their own program code to calculate apportionment using the Method of Equal Proportions.

In 1941, Congress adopted the current formula, the Huntington-Hill Method, or “Method of Equal Proportions” for reapportioning House seats. Code, within 15 days of receiving the apportionment population counts from the president, the Clerk of the House of Representatives must inform each state governor of the number of representatives to which that state is entitled. Conducted in 1790, the first U.S, Census counted 4 million Americans. Based on that count, the total number of members elected to the House of Representatives grew from the original 65 to 106. The current membership of the House of Representatives was set at 435 by the Reapportionment Act of 1929, which established a permanent method for apportioning a constant number of seats according to each decennial census.