Income tax policy: is a single rate tax optimum for long-term economic growth?, Prof. Michael Busler
Prof. Michael Busler
Richard Stockton College
School of Business, Galloway, New Jersey
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to show an optimum income tax policy, given that the government must raise sufficient tax revenue to fund public goods and services as well as income transfer programmes. The paper examines the different types of taxes and then suggests a policy that is efficient, equitable, easy to administer and leads to a higher level of economic growth.
Design/methodology/approach: A literature review has been done to find all scholarly work that relates to income tax policy and its effect on economic growth. Results from endogenous growth models have been utilised to determine both the significance and the magnitude of income tax policy's effect on the growth rate of real GDP.
Findings: After examining the benefits of each type of taxation and reviewing the principles of capitalism, a proportionate (single rate) tax of 12 per cent on all income would be approximately revenue neutral in the USA, and would add to the growth of real GDP, thereby improving the standard of living.
Research limitations/implications: The paper concentrates on income tax policy in the USA. While it is believed that the conclusions apply to virtually all market-based economies, cultural differences in some countries may result in a modification of the conclusion to fit the society.
Practical implications: In the USA today, the majority of people favour changing the current income tax code. The debate is about what to change and how to change it. This debate is also important to developing nations who try to set an income tax policy that reaches the goals while encouraging growth.
Originality/value: While the literature shows varying studies concerning the impact of tax policy, there is a gap when searching for an optimum policy. Many scholars have made suggestions but none of them seem to be optimal. This topic is of particular interest in the USA and the rest of the developed and non-developed world, since the recent performance of GDP growth has been very slow and in many instances negative. Most countries have tried combinations of monetary and fiscal policies to encourage growth, but none seem to be working effectively. The solution may be to change income tax policy. The proposal for an optimum income tax policy is new and different from any that has been suggested as yet.
Keywords: Tax policy; Economic growth; Flat rate tax; Progressive tax.
Citation: Busler, M. (2013), "Income tax policy: is a single rate tax optimum for long-term economic growth?", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 246-254. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-01-2013-0008