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Thursday, May 11, 2006

The U.S. Tax Burden Relative to Other Countries

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center, a "joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution," compares taxes in the U.S. to taxes in other countries. The graph shows taxes from all levels of government as a percentage of GDP (the graph is a reconstruction, not the original):

The U.S. Tax Burden Is Low Relative to Other OECD Countries, by Sonya Hoo and Eric Toder, Tax policy Center: The United States raises significantly lower tax revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product than do most other countries in the OECD. In 2003 taxes in the United States, including all levels of government, amounted to 25.6 percent of GDP, down from 29.6 percent of GDP in 2000. Other countries in the G7 raised 33.9 percent of GDP, while non-G7 OECD countries raised 34.7 percent. Within the OECD, Mexico raised the least tax revenues at 19 percent and Sweden the most at 50.6 percent. (The recovery of corporate profits and the stock market since 2003 subsequently boosted U.S. tax revenues to 26.8 percent of GDP in the first three quarters of calendar year 2005.)

Compared with other OECD countries, the United States relies more heavily on income taxes as a source of revenue and less on taxes on goods and services. ... But unlike other OECD countries, the United States does not impose a value-added or other form of national sales tax. Consequently, the U.S. share of revenue raised from taxes on goods and services (state sales taxes and state and federal excise taxes on selected commodities) was only 18.2 percent, compared with 26 percent in other G7 countries and 32.6 percent in non-G7 OECD countries. ...

Tax Revenue by Source, 2003
Click to enlarge

Interpretations will vary.

    Posted by on Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:33 AM in Economics, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (15)


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