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Hogan Steel Archive: Taxes

The “Hogan Steel Archive,” representing a three-year collaborative effort of the Walsh Library’s Department of Archives and Special Collections and Fordham’s Industrial Economics Research Institute, commemorates and preserves the remarkable steel legacy


The 122 document files on taxes reflect the considerable effort that Father Hogan devoted, mainly in the 1960’s, to the study of government tax policy, focusing on the depreciation aspects of the tax code, the key role of depreciation in funding plant and equipment replacement in steel and other industries, and the resulting importance of adequate depreciation allowances to maintaining a modern and competitive industrial base. The files contain information on taxes relating to Father’s role as an advisor on depreciation reform to Presidents Kennedy and Nixon, his frequent testimony on the subject before committees of the U.S. House and Senate, and his work as a member of President Nixon’s Task Force on Business Taxation.

Among the specific subjects covered in the tax files are the following: the concept and measurement of depreciation, reform proposals, the need for reform in various industries (steel, railroads, textiles, shoes, lithography, and machine tools), U.S. industrial obsolescence, depreciable lives in Bulletin F of the Revenue Act of 1918 and its 1942 revisions, depreciation under U.S. Treasury guidelines and rules in 1962, President Kennedy’s depreciation plans, U.S. Treasury survey of depreciation policy, the investment-tax credit of the Revenue Act of 1962, the ensuing controversy over its proposed repeal, the impact of inflation on depreciation and profits, depreciation adjusted for inflation (also called current-value or reinvestment depreciation), asset revaluation in Japan, depreciation in various countries, taxes and international competition, depreciation and small business, The Indiana Telephone Corporation case, asset depreciation range regulations, reserve ratio test of depreciable lives, tax harmonization in the U.S. and Europe, the value added tax, and the Tax Reform Act of 1969 and Senate amendments.

The files contain President Nixon’s September 1969 letter appointing Father Hogan to the Task Force on Business Taxation and papers of the Task Force on depreciation reform, the investment-tax credit, the value-added tax, and other business-taxation subjects. Also contained in the files is the Task Force report to the President, Business Taxation, articles on depreciation by Father Hogan, including The Replacement of Steel Mill Plant and Equipment with Present Depreciation Reserves and Depreciation by Default, articles he coauthored with Frank T. Koelble, Economic Depreciation and Employment in the 1960’s and The Investment Tax Credit Controversy, and research on taxes and depreciation by Joel Barlow, William A. Paton, Maurice E. Peloubet, John H. Alexander, and Norman B. Ture. Finally, the Archive’s book collection includes Current Depreciation Allowances by John Ryan and Father Hogan’s Capital Investment in Steel: A World Plan for the 1990’s, Depreciation Reform and Capital Replacement, and Depreciation Policies and Resultant Problems.