This report addresses a technical issue regarding the national retail sales tax: What would the required tax rate have to be? According to the report, the four principal results are:
First, as long as real federal revenues and real federal spending are maintained during the transition to a sales tax, the required sales tax rate would not depend on whether federal purchases are subject to tax or whether consumer prices rise after the sales tax is imposed.
Second, H.R. 25, a recent legislative proposal, would replace the existing income, corporate, payroll, and estate and gift taxes with a 23 percent tax-inclusive (30 percent tax-exclusive) sales tax on almost all private consumption, a significant portion 23 percent (tax-inclusive), the revenue loss would exceed $7 trillion over the next decade relative to current law.
Third, with plausible allowances for avoidance, evasion, and tax exemptions for some private consumption and some state and local purchases, both the required tax rates and the revenue loss from imposing a sales tax at a 23 percent tax-inclusive rate climb significantly higher.
Fourth, the commonly cited 23 percent tax-inclusive rate in H.R. 25 was derived using a set of assumptions about changes in the price level that are not consistent with each other and that lead to an estimated tax rate that is systematically and substantially too low.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The National Retail Sales Tax: What Would the Rate Have To Be?
In "The National Retail Sales Tax: What Would the Rate Have To Be?", William G. Gale argues the tax rate would need to be 44%: