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The Whys of Taxes

Theme 3: Fairness in TaxesLesson 5: How Taxes Affect Us


Tax Freedom Day by State and Rank
In the United States there are progressive income taxes, a regressive Social Security tax, and a variety of local property taxes, excise taxes, and user fees that are somewhat regressive. Taxpayers over a wide range of income levels end up paying roughly the same percentage of their incomes in taxes. Although no single tax is proportional, the combination of different taxes creates a roughly proportional system. Vertical equity is the concept that people in different income groups should pay different tax rates.


quick check
What is the term used for the idea that people in different income groups should pay different amounts of taxes, or different percentages of their incomes as taxes?

tax trivia
Did You Know?
In the South, some citizens once had to pay a poll tax in order to vote. Often, African Americans and those with low incomes could not afford to pay the tax and were therefore denied the right to vote. The Twenty-fourth Amendment declared the poll tax requirement unconstitutional.

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In what year was the Twenty-fourth Amendment ratified?
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