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Top Federal Income Tax Rate Was Once Over 90 Percent

1 min readBy: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

Over at the forums, a commenter looking at TaxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. Foundation data expresses surprise that marginal income tax rates once reached 91 percent. Indeed they did!

The rate had reached 94 percent during World War II, on income over $200,000 (approx. $2.49 million in today's dollars). It dropped down to 91 percent in 1946 and remained there until the Kennedy tax cuts in 1962-64. Brackets weren't inflationInflation is when the general price of goods and services increases across the economy, reducing the purchasing power of a currency and the value of certain assets. The same paycheck covers less goods, services, and bills. It is sometimes referred to as a “hidden tax,” as it leaves taxpayers less well-off due to higher costs and “bracket creep,” while increasing the government’s spending power. adjusted back then, so it still applied on income over $200,000, which by then had reached $1.41 million in today's dollars. Click here for a newsreel of President Kennedy urging passage of the tax cut.

Check out U.S. income tax rates from 1913 to today here.