January 1, 1967

Tax Burdens and Benefits of Government Expenditures By Income Class, 1961 and 1965

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Research Publication No. 9

The rapid growth of government expenditures at all levels demands increasing attention to the questions of the size and significance of the total tax burden and the size and value of the benefits of government expenditures. How much does the typical family's tax burden amount to, taking account of all taxes? What is the approximate size of expenditure benefits received?

In 1960 the Tax Foundation published a study that estimated total tax burdens in 1958 for families classified by size of income. The present report updates these tax burden estimates making use of much more detailed statistical survey data than was available in 1960. In addition, estimates are included of the benefits of government expenditures by income class.

A preliminary report of this study was released in mimeographed form for limited circulation in April 1966. The preliminary results have now been reworked to take account of the revised national income and product series published in late 1965. In addition, the revisions were carried out with a computer program which made possible exploration of the results of a number of alternative definitions of income and assumptions concerning incidence.

George A. Bishop, Director, Federal Affairs Research, was primarily responsible for the study.

The Tax Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 to engage in non-partisan research and public education on the fiscal and management aspects of government. It serves as a national information agency for individuals and organizations concerned with government fiscal problems.

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