Demographic Change and the Future of State Income Taxes

22 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2009 Last revised: 9 Mar 2012

Date Written: March 26, 2009

Abstract

Four factors suggest that population aging will have a larger fiscal impact in states with a high reliance on income taxes than in states with a high reliance on other taxes. First, as postulated by life-cycle consumption models, retirement has a larger impact on income than consumption. This life-cycle effect causes income tax receipts to fall more than sales tax receipts. Second, slower macroeconomic growth, which may occur because of population aging, will disproportionately impact income tax receipts. Third, preferences accorded elderly taxpayers substantially decrease income tax receipts. Fourth, the migration of high-income elderly taxpayers has an especially large impact on state income tax receipts.

Keywords: state taxation, population aging, demographics

JEL Classification: H7, H70, H71, H72, H73, J10, J11

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, David P., Demographic Change and the Future of State Income Taxes (March 26, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1368929 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1368929

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