Project Note No. 45
The severity of the 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. burden emphasizes the question of the equity of our tax system. One aspect of equity is the relative weight of the burden on taxpayers at different income levels. Is the total tax burden distributed in some reasonable relation to income throughout the scale of individual and family income?
The present study provides an up-to-date estimate of the distribution of the tax burden on the basis of selected assumptions, together with a brief discussion of the limitations and significance of tax burden estimates. This estimate is based on national averages and cannot be applied directly to any state or locality.
George Bishop, Senior Researcher, has had primary responsibility for the research and drafting of this study. The Tax Foundation, a non-profit organization, is engaged in research and public education on all aspects of government spending and taxation. Its purpose is to aid in the development of more efficient government at less cost to the taxpayer. It also serves as a national information agency for organized taxpayer research groups throughout the country.Share