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Evaluating U.S. Tax Reform Options & Trade-Offs

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic poses a triple challenge for tax policy in the United States. Lawmakers are tasked with crafting a policy response that will accelerate the economic recovery, reduce the mounting deficit, and protect the most vulnerable.

To assist lawmakers in navigating the challenge, and to help the American public understand the tax changes being proposed, the Tax Foundation’s Center for Federal Tax Policy modeled how 70 potential changes to the tax code would affect the U.S. economy, distribution of the tax burden, and federal revenue.

In tax policy there is an ever-present trade-off among how much revenue a tax will raise, who bears the burden of a tax, and what impact a tax will have on economic growth. Armed with the information in our new book, Options for Reforming America’s Tax Code 2.0, policymakers can debate the relative merits and trade-offs of each option to improve the tax code in a post-pandemic world.

Vermont tax proposals 2024 Montpelier state capitol

Vermont Tax Proposals Would Leave the State and Vermonters Behind

With proposals to adopt the nation’s highest corporate income tax, second-highest individual income tax, and most aggressive treatment of foreign earnings, as well as to implement an unusually high tax on property transfers, Vermont lawmakers have no shortage of options for raising taxes dramatically.

7 min read
Is the Federal Tax Code Progressive and does it Privilege the Rich? US progressive income tax system rich and wealthy fair share tax

Does the Federal Tax Code Privilege the Rich?

The federal income tax drives the tax code’s progressivity. In 2021, taxpayers with higher incomes paid much higher average income tax rates than taxpayers with lower incomes.

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latest state tax trends and state tax cuts revenue implications include responsible state income tax relief in 2024

Can States Afford Their Recent Tax Cuts?

With state tax revenues receding from all-time highs, there’s been a great deal of handwringing about whether states can afford the tax cuts adopted over the past few years. Given that 27 states reduced the rate of a major tax between 2021 and 2023, is there reason for concern?

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Considering 2025 tax reform options for 2025, 2026, and beyond for the 2025 tax debate

Considering Tax Reform Options for 2025 (and Beyond)

Given that U.S. debt is roughly the size of our annual economic output, policymakers will face many tough fiscal choices in the coming years. The good news is there are policies that both support a larger economy and avoid adding to the debt.

6 min read