Mark Anderson wrote:

The tax incidence report only discusses income.  That is one
of the problems with the constant focus on income; it doesn't take wealth
into account at all.  I think that a major benefit of a progressive tax is
it reduces the wealth gap between people.

Mark Anderson brings up some good points about the tax system.

We talk about the progressively of taxes based on income because the
government has a system of measuring income while it doesn't really have a
system measuring wealth.   If own say a diamond mine, the government doesn't
have a system for valuing that diamond mine to determine your wealth.  All
it can really measure is the income that you derive from that asset.  That
is why progressivity of taxes is usually related to income.

I would agree with Mark about being able to talk about taxation in
relationship to wealth as a much better approach.  How progressive a tax is
should be discussed in terms of wealth if it is at all possible. The problem comes about from getting data.

Carol Becker
Future Member, Board of Estimate and Taxation

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