Economic Snapshot | Budget, Taxes, and Public Investment

Have income taxes increased?

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for April 14, 1999

Have income taxes increased?

Over the past twenty years, the personal income tax burden has actually changed very little. The figure shows that between 1977 and 1989 personal income tax rates fell slightly for the bottom 99% of families and dropped substantially for the top 1%. After 1989, personal income tax rates rose for the wealthiest 1% of families (though they did not return to their 1977 levels), fell for the bottom two-fifths of families, and were largely unchanged for the rest of families. Although the average personal income tax for the richest 1% of families is projected to fall from 25.2% to 22.2% from 1977 to 1999, the effective rate for the bottom fifth is expected to fall even more steeply, from -0.6% to -6.8%, indicating that the tax system actually transfers money to this group via the earned income tax credit.

Source: The State of Working America 1998-99.

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