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Local government taxes - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Local Government Taxes Are state and local government taxes mostly regressive, progressive or neutral? Americans can define tax fairness in various ways. Despite this, they all have a shared vision: most Americans believe their government should put additional effort in helping its citizens with the vast majority being of the belief that the wealthier Americans should actually be the ones to pay higher taxes in order to support the priorities…
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Local government taxes
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Local government taxes

Download file to see previous pages... The poorest twenty percent of Americans, on average, pay a combined local and state tax rate of eleven percent while those in the wealthy bracket only pay five and a half percent. This disparity becomes even more pronounced in the Washington State, which possesses the most regressive system of tax with the poorest twenty percent paying an average rate of seventeen percent while the wealthy families pay only 2.3%. What are the most regressive and progressive states? Progressive States The most standout feature of regressive tax states is the progressive nature of income taxes and less reliance on excise and sales taxes. Vermont taxes, for example, are among the least regressive in the US due to their highly progressive income tax and decreased excise and sales taxes (Davis et al 3). Vermont’s tax system is also rendered as a little unfair because of the refundable EITC. Delaware’s income tax regime, however, is not progressive, but the high reliance it has on income taxes and low utilization of consumption taxes makes its tax system only slightly regressive. The District of Columbia and New York have each achieved a tax system that is close to flat overall via the use of generous EITCs, as well as an income tax that has relatively high top rates (Davis et al 3). However, it should be noted that the least regressive states as far as tax policy is concerned generally still fail to meet the criteria that most people would consider as a minimal standard of tax fairness. In these states, some middle or low-income groups actually pay more local and state income tax than the wealthy actually do. New Jersey is another of the progressive states with their legislature passing a millionaire’s tax, which was vetoed; however, by the Governor for the third straight year. The revenue raised from this would have helped offset property tax decreases for middle class. Finally, Rhode Island came up with an innovative tax idea to reduce incrementally corporate taxes to companies that created employment over a 3-year period in the state, which was a progressive move. Regressive States On the other side, of the tax regimes are ten states that have particularly regressive state and local taxes. These include; Alabama, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Florida, and Washington. In these states, residents with lower income are asked to pay almost six times as much income tax as their wealthier counterparts. Middle-income families residing in these states have to pay three times the share of their income when compared to the wealthier families. In a majority of these states, including Nevada, Tennessee, South Dakota and Washington, personal income taxes are not levied on a broad base. The rest of these states, including Illinois and Alabama, do levy income tax, although their income tax is structured in a way that makes them less progressive than, for example, New York and other progressive states. Illinois and Tennessee have an income tax at a flat rate, which taxes the wealthy using similar marginal rates to those used in taxing the poor wage earners. Nevada, Tennessee ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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