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Death Taxes and the Concentration of Wealth

September 18, 1931

Report Outline
Federal Government's Need of Additional Revenue
Increasing Concentration of Wealth
Use of Inheritance Taxes to Break Up Big Fortunes
Federal Taxation of Estates
State Taxation of Inheritances
Revenue from Federal and State Death Taxes
Special Focus

Federal Government's Need of Additional Revenue

Tax Plane Advanced by Administration Rpublicane

The accumulating deficit of the federal government for the fiscal year 1932 stood at $463,171,554 on September 15, 1931. The deficit on the same date last year was $313,797,335, and the fiscal year ended with a total deficit of $902,716,845. If this year's deficit accumulates at the same rate as last year's, the fiscal year 1932 will end with a new deficit of $1,332,429,301.

The continuation through the first quarter of the present fiscal year of the downward trend in federal revenues, in the face of mounting expenditures, has diminished the hope that increases in taxation at the next session of Congress may be avoided. Demands for fresh appropriations for relief during the coming winter promise to enhance the Treasury's difficulties, and Secretary Mellon is said to have in preparation a measure which would increase the Government's revenues by reducing income tax exemptions and restoring some of the excise taxes that were repealed in 1926. Meanwhile two other plans have been advanced by administration Republicans for consideration when Congress meets. Senator Reed (Pa.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, would impose a general sales tax of one-half of one per cent; would repeal the capital gain and loss provision of the present income tax; and would increase estate taxes. Rep. Bacharach (N. J.), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, would increase surtax rates on incomes between $100,000 and $1,000,000; would levy excise taxes upon luxuries and nonessentials; would increase estate taxes; and would reimpose an outright gift tax to prevent evasion of the taxes on estates. Whereas Secretary Mellon has advocated repeal of the federal estate tax, the Reed and Bacharach plans both propose increases in that tax.

Demands for Heavier Taxation of the Rich

Republican insurgents, who hold the balance of power in both houses of the new Congress, prefer the Bacharach plan to the proposals of Senator Reed or the ideas of Secretary Mellon. Bacharach conies very near, indeed, to stealing their own thunder. In a statement of September 10, 1931, he said:

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May 21, 1935  Comparative Tax Burdens in America and Britain
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Nov. 27, 1934  Elimination of Conflicts in Taxation
Jul. 25, 1933  Taxation of Excess Profits
Jan. 25, 1933  Tax Burdens and Tax-Free Securities
Nov. 23, 1932  The Beer Tax and the Sales Tax
Dec. 19, 1931  Sales Taxes: Federal, State, and Foreign
Sep. 18, 1931  Death Taxes and the Concentration of Wealth
Mar. 18, 1931  Federal Taxation of Large Incomes
Jan. 10, 1931  Taxation of Capital Gains
Nov. 09, 1929  Federal Tax Reduction-1930
Aug. 08, 1927  Federal Tax Reduction—1928
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Jan. 16, 1926  Taxation of Estates and Inheritances
Nov. 07, 1925  Federal Taxation of Small Incomes
Nov. 28, 1924  Social, Fiscal and Legal Aspects of the Inheritance Tax
Apr. 07, 1924  Causes and Effects of the Tax Return Blockade
Dec. 12, 1923  Tax Exempt Securities
Dec. 10, 1923  Taxation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Tax Reform
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