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The Lifetime Incidence of State and Local Taxes: Measuring Changes During the 1980s

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  • Gilbert E. Metcalf

Abstract

I compute the lifetime tax incidence of the major state and local taxes used in the United States during the 1980s. Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, I show that over the life cycle, general sales taxes are progressive and equally as progressive as state and local income taxes. While the progressivity of sales taxes has not changed between 1984 and 1989, income taxes have become less progressive over that five-year period. Property taxes on the other hand have become more progressive. The system of state and local taxes is mildly progressive the life cycle and has become slightly more progressive between 1984 and 1989. Finally. eliminating deductibility for sales taxes in 1986 appears to have had little effect on the overall progressivity of the tax system.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4252.

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Date of creation: Jan 1993
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Publication status: published as Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality, ed. Joel Slemrod, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4252

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  1. Suits, Daniel B, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 747-52, September.
  2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1976. "Capitalization of Intrajurisdictional Differences in Local Tax Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 743-53, December.
  4. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
  5. Poterba, J.M., 1990. "Is The Gasoline Tax Regressive?," Working papers 568, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Davies, James B & St-Hilaire, France & Whalley, John, 1984. "Some Calculations of Lifetime Tax Incidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 633-49, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
  2. Parry, Ian W. H. & Sigman, Hilary & Walls, Margaret & Williams III, Roberton C., 2005. "The Incidence of Pollution Control Policies," Working paper 205, Regulation2point0.
  3. Walls, Margaret & Hanson, Jean, 1999. "Distributional Aspects of an Environmental Tax Shift: The Case of Motor Vehicle Emissions Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 1), pages 53-65, March.
  4. Wadud, Zia & Noland, Robert B. & Graham, Daniel J., 2010. "A semiparametric model of household gasoline demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 93-101, January.
  5. Wier, Mette & Birr-Pedersen, Katja & Jacobsen, Henrik Klinge & Klok, Jacob, 2005. "Are CO2 taxes regressive? Evidence from the Danish experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 239-251, January.
  6. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Don Fullerton, 2002. "The Distribution of Tax Burdens: An Introduction," NBER Working Papers 8978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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