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Topic:   Distribution of Taxes and Income

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Why Individual Income Tax Revenues Grow Faster Than GDP (Research Brief)
Jim NunnsJeff Rohaly

Using the latest long-term budget projections from the Congressional Budget Office, we project that individual income tax revenues under current law will increase as a share of GDP from a little over 9.5 percent in 2025 to a little less than 13.3 percent in 2090, an increase of over 3.7 percentage points. This paper describes the factors that explain this differential in growth rates and provides estimates from the Tax Policy Center’s new long-run microsimulation model of the relative importance of each of these factors over the 2025-2090 period. We find that 80 percent of the increase in revenues as a share of GDP occurs because current law does not adjust some individual income tax parameters for inflation and none of the parameters for changes in real income.

Published: 09/01/15
Availability:   PDF


Distributional Impact of Repealing the Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Plans (Methodology Report)
Gordon MerminEric Toder

TPC has estimated the distributional impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac tax” in 2018 and 2025. While the average tax cut increases with income throughout the distribution, the middle and fourth income quintiles receive the largest share of the tax benefit compared with their shares of after-tax income.

Published: 07/23/15
Availability:   PDF


Analysis of Bipartisan Policy Center Cadillac Tax Replacement Option (Research Report)
Gordon MerminEric Toder

The Bipartisan Policy Center asked TPC to estimate a proposal to replace the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans with a limit on the exclusion for employer-provided health benefits and repeal of medical flexible spending accounts. TPC estimates the BPC proposal would increase revenues in the near term, but lose revenues over the long-term. In 2025, the BPC option that is effective in 2017 would impose the largest increased tax burdens as a share of after-tax income on households in the middle and fourth income quintiles.

Published: 07/17/15
Availability:   PDF


Distributional Effects of the President's New Tax Proposals (Research Report)
Leonard E. BurmanNgan Phung

The White House announced a package of tax proposals as part of what President Obama called “Middle Class Economics” in the State of the Union Address. This paper summarizes and discusses TPC’s distributional estimates, focusing on the distribution of all income tax cuts, the major tax cut provisions, and the largest tax increase provisions including the new fee on financial institutions. The tax cuts primarily benefit low-income single workers and working age households with children. The income tax increases primarily affect those with very high incomes and those with a substantial amount of capital assets.

Published: 01/30/15
Availability:   PDF


EITC Claiming Across Zip Codes (Research Brief)
Benjamin H. HarrisLucie Parker

This brief provides a fresh look at the role of the EITC by utilizing zip-code level data on taxes and demographics. In the following sections, we focus on the relationship between EITC claiming rates (i.e., the percent of tax returns receiving the EITC) and poverty rates, the demographic characteristics of zip codes with high EITC claiming rates, and the variation in EITC claiming rates and average EITC amount cross counties.

Published: 12/02/14
Availability:   PDF


Municipal Debt: What Does It Buy and Who Benefits? (Research Report)
Harvey GalperKim RuebenRichard C. AuxierAmanda Eng

This paper examines the incidence of the federal income tax exemption of interest on state and local bonds, applying a fixed-savings, simplified general equilibrium approach to estimate incidence effects on both the sources and uses of income. In contrast to traditional empirical work that allocates the benefit of tax exemption only to current holders of tax-exempt bonds based on current interest rates, we incorporate the fact that the existence of tax exemption causes the taxable interest rate to rise and the tax-exempt rate to fall. As a consequence, on the sources side, tax exemption can increase after-tax income for holders of both taxable and taxexempt bonds. On the uses side, consumers of both private and public goods are affected by the higher cost of funds to private and federal government borrowers, the lower cost of funds to state and local borrowers, and the lower cost of funds to private-sector entities with access to the proceeds of tax-exempt borrowing. Overall, higher income individuals remain the primary beneficiaries of tax exemption on the sources side with this new approach, but less so than under the traditional approach. On the uses side, households who consume a relatively large share of state and local public services, such as those with several school-age children, receive significant net benefits.

Published: 10/29/14
Availability: HTML | PDF


State Economic Monitor: October 2014 (Series/State Economic Monitor)
Richard C. Auxier

Most states ended the summer of 2014 on a positive economic note. Up from 14 states a year earlier, 25 states reported August unemployment rates below 6 percent. Every state but Alaska added jobs within the last year. But some troubling signs remain. Inflation-adjusted average weekly wages declined or did not change in 26 states. The latest issue of the State Economic Monitor describes economic and fiscal trends at the state level, highlighting particular differences across the states in employment, state government finances, and housing conditions. This issue also includes a special section on state minimum wages.

Published: 10/16/14
Availability:   PDF


Preliminary Analysis of The Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act (Research Report)
Leonard E. BurmanElaine MaagGeorgia IvsinJeff Rohaly

Senator Mike Lee's Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act (S.1616) would significantly expand tax benefits for children, repeal the alternative minimum tax, and repeal the Affordable Care Act surtaxes on earnings and net investment income. To partially offset the cost of these provisions, the plan would consolidate filing statuses and tax brackets and repeal itemized deductions other than those for charitable contributions and home mortgage interest. TPC estimates that the plan would reduce tax revenues by $2.4 trillion over the ten-year budget period, 2014-2023, and remove roughly 12 million tax units from the federal income tax rolls in 2014.

Published: 03/04/14
Availability:   PDF


Evaluating Broad-Based Approaches for Limiting Tax Expenditures (Research Report)
Eric ToderJoseph RosenbergAmanda Eng

This paper evaluates six options to achieve across-the-board reductions to a group of major exclusions and deductions in the income tax: (1) limiting their tax benefit to a maximum percentage of income; (2) imposing a fixed dollar cap; (3) reducing them by a fixed-percentage amount; (4) limiting their tax saving to a maximum percentage of their dollar value; (5) replacing preferences with fixed rate refundable credits; and (6) including them in the base of the existing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). We discuss issues of design, implementation, and administration, and simulate the revenue, distributional, and incentive effects of the various options.

Published: 02/06/14
Availability:   PDF


The War on Poverty Moves to the Tax Code (Article/Tax Facts)
Leonard E. BurmanElaine Maag

In 1975, the federal income tax code joined the "War on Poverty" with the enactment of the earned income tax credit (EITC). Today, tax credits form some of the largest and most effective anti-poverty programs in the US. In 2012, the Census Bureau estimated that tax credits cut poverty (under a broad measure that includes the effect of programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and the EITC) by 3 percentage points – more than SNAP (1.6 points) and TANF (0.2 points). The tax credits cut child poverty by a whopping 6.7 percentage points.

Published: 01/07/14
Availability:   PDF

1-10 of 255     Back to Topics Next>>