Tax Policy Center | Urban Institute and Brookings Institution

On the Distributional Effects of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform

Samuel Brown, William G. Gale, Adam Looney

Published: August 01, 2012
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Abstract

This paper examines the tradeoffs among three competing goals that are inherent in a revenue-neutral income tax reformâ??maintaining tax revenues, ensuring a progressive tax system, and lowering marginal tax ratesâ??drawing on the example of the tax policies advanced in presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax plan. Our major conclusion is that any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.

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