Regressive tax

regressiveregressive taxationburdening the poorhit low-income households disproportionatelyregressive changes in distributionregressive rateregressive sales taxregressive system of taxation
A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the average tax rate (tax paid ÷ personal income) decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases.wikipedia
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Tax

taxationtaxeslevy
A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the average tax rate (tax paid ÷ personal income) decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases.
The incidence of taxation varies by system, and some systems may be viewed as progressive or regressive.

Progressive tax

progressiveprogressive taxationprogressive income tax
The opposite of a regressive tax is a progressive tax, in which the average tax rate increases as the amount subject to taxation rises In between is a flat or proportional tax, where the tax rate is fixed as the amount subject to taxation increases.
The opposite of a progressive tax is a regressive tax, where the average tax rate or burden decreases as an individual's ability to pay increases.

Poll tax

head taxpoll taxescapitation
Poll taxes
Poll taxes are considered very regressive taxes, and are usually very unpopular and have been implicated in many uprisings.

Proportional tax

proportionalproportion to their possessionsproportional income tax
The opposite of a regressive tax is a progressive tax, in which the average tax rate increases as the amount subject to taxation rises In between is a flat or proportional tax, where the tax rate is fixed as the amount subject to taxation increases.
The opposite of a progressive tax is a regressive tax, where the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases.

Lump-sum tax

lump sumlump-sum
Lump-sum tax
It is one of the various modes used for taxation: income, things owned (property taxes), money spent (sales taxes), miscellaneous (excise taxes), etc. It is a regressive tax, such that the lower the income is, the higher the percentage of income applicable to the tax.

Fat tax

obesity taxes
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.
Since the poor spend a greater proportion of their income on food, a fat tax might be regressive.

Fuel tax

gas taxgasoline taxfuel taxes
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.
Fuel taxes are often considered regressive taxes.

Tax rate

marginal tax ratetax rateseffective tax rate
A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the average tax rate (tax paid ÷ personal income) decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases.
Regressive tax

Sin tax

sin taxesliquor taxcigarette and tobacco taxes
So-called "sin taxes" (pigovian taxes) have also been criticized for being regressive, as they are often consumed more (or at least at a greater proportion) by the lower classes. Such taxes are often imposed at a flat rate so they will make up a greater proportion of the final price of cheaper brands, compared to the higher-quality products generally consumed by the wealthy. For example, "people in the bottom income quintile spend a 78% larger share of their income on alcohol taxes than people in the top quintile." Tobacco in particular is highly regressive, with the bottom quintile of income paying an effective rate 583% higher than that of the top quintile.
However, these taxes have often been criticized for burdening the poor, taxing the physically and mentally dependent, and being part of a nanny state.

Carbon tax

social cost of carboncarbon taxestax
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.
Carbon taxes can be a regressive tax, in that they may directly or indirectly affect low-income groups disproportionately.

Progressivity in United States income tax

regressivity
Progressivity in United States income tax
For example, the payroll tax system (FICA), a 12.4% Social Security tax on wages up to $117,000 (for 2013) and a 2.9% Medicare tax (a 15.3% total tax that is often split between employee and employer) is called a regressive tax on income with no standard deduction or personal exemptions but in effect is forced savings which return to the payer in the form of retirement benefits and health care.

Suits index

Suits index
A proportional tax (for example, where each unit pays an equal fraction of income) has a Suits index of zero, and a regressive tax (for example, where lower income tax units pay a greater fraction of income in tax) has a negative Suits index.

Supply management (Canada)

supply managementsupply-managedsupply management system
A related concept exists where production and importation of essential goods are strictly controlled, such as milk, eggs, cheese and poultry under Canada's supply management system, the result being that the products will sell for a higher price than they would under a free market system. The difference in price is often criticized for being a "regressive tax" even though such products are generally not taxed directly.
This has been criticized as a regressive tax on the poor (around 37 cents per litre), for whom food is a large portion of their budget, and who are in effect subsidizing well-off farmers.

Poverty

poorlow-incomeindigent
In terms of individual income and wealth, a regressive tax imposes a greater burden (relative to resources) on the poor than on the rich: there is an inverse relationship between the tax rate and the taxpayer's ability to pay, as measured by assets, consumption, or income.

Tax incidence

tax burdenburden of a taxeconomic burden
These taxes tend to reduce the tax burden of the people with a higher ability to pay, as they shift the relative burden increasingly to those with a lower ability to pay.

Demography

demographicdemographicsdemographer
The regressivity of a particular tax can also factor the propensity of the taxpayers to engage in the taxed activity relative to their resources (the demographics of the tax base).

Income elasticity of demand

income elasticity
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes. To measure the effect, the income elasticity of the good being taxed as well as the income effect on consumption must be considered.

Income–consumption curve

income effectincomeincome effect.
To measure the effect, the income elasticity of the good being taxed as well as the income effect on consumption must be considered.

Pigovian tax

excise taxPigouvian taxesArthur Pigou
So-called "sin taxes" (pigovian taxes) have also been criticized for being regressive, as they are often consumed more (or at least at a greater proportion) by the lower classes. Such taxes are often imposed at a flat rate so they will make up a greater proportion of the final price of cheaper brands, compared to the higher-quality products generally consumed by the wealthy. For example, "people in the bottom income quintile spend a 78% larger share of their income on alcohol taxes than people in the top quintile." Tobacco in particular is highly regressive, with the bottom quintile of income paying an effective rate 583% higher than that of the top quintile.

Quantile

quantilesquintiletertile
So-called "sin taxes" (pigovian taxes) have also been criticized for being regressive, as they are often consumed more (or at least at a greater proportion) by the lower classes. Such taxes are often imposed at a flat rate so they will make up a greater proportion of the final price of cheaper brands, compared to the higher-quality products generally consumed by the wealthy. For example, "people in the bottom income quintile spend a 78% larger share of their income on alcohol taxes than people in the top quintile." Tobacco in particular is highly regressive, with the bottom quintile of income paying an effective rate 583% higher than that of the top quintile.

Excise

excise taxexcise taxesexcise duty
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.

Salt tax

saltsalt dutysubject to tax
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.

Council Tax

precepting authorityratescouncil
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.

Window tax

contribution from doors and windowson window glassreceiver of duties on windows
Non-uniform excise taxation based on everyday essentials like food (fat tax, salt tax), transport (fuel tax, fare hikes for public transport), energy (carbon tax) and housing (council tax, window tax) is frequently regressive on income. The income elasticity of demand of food, for example, is usually less than 1 (inelastic) (see Engel's law) and therefore as a household's income rises, the tax collected on the food remains almost the same. Therefore, as a proportion of available expenditure, the relative tax burden falls more heavily on households with lower incomes. Some governments offer rebates to households with lower incomes, ostensibly in an effort to mitigate the regressive nature of these taxes.