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The 2001 and 2003 Tax Rate Reductions: An Overview and Estimate of the Taxable Income Response

Auten, Gerald, Carroll, Robert, and Gee, Geoffrey

Abstract:

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA) incorporated the main elements of the Bush Administration’s tax proposals. The principal feature of this legislation was the reduction in individual income tax rates. Reducing marginal tax rates was intended to improve the economic incentives to work and invest, reduce the other economic distortions associated with high tax rates, lower overall tax burdens and improve the prospects for economic growth. The paper examines the effects of the lower marginal tax rates by estimating the response of reported taxable income to the lower rates. Using a panel of tax returns spanning the enactment of EGTRRA and JGTRRA, the paper estimates a taxable income elasticity in the base model of about 0.4, with estimates for other specifications and samples ranging from about 0.2 to 0.7.

Citation

Auten, Gerald, Carroll, Robert, and Gee, Geoffrey (2008), The 2001 and 2003 Tax Rate Reductions: An Overview and Estimate of the Taxable Income Response, National Tax Journal, 61:3, pp. 345-64

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2008.3.01