Curbing Tax Expenditures

Abstract

This paper takes a broad look at tax expenditures in the context of revenue raising tax reform. It first reviews how tax expenditures have changed over the past 25 years and provides estimates of the distribution of tax savings resulting from tax expenditures today. The paper then examines three approaches for applying across-the-board limits to a selected group of the largest and most widely utilized tax preferences. The three optionsa fixed percentage credit, a cap based on income, and a constant percentage reductioncan all be designed to raise significant revenue for deficit reduction in a progressive manner.

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