Capital Levies and Transition to a Consumption Tax
NBER Working Paper No. 12259
The merits of capital levies depend on the likelihood of repetition, the extent of anticipation, and its effects on distribution. The relevance of these features, which in varying degrees is underdeveloped or underappreciated in pertinent literatures, is elaborated and then considered with regard to the problem of transition to a consumption tax. Other transition issues are distinguished, and specific attention is devoted to rate changes under a consumption tax and whether owners of preexisting capital are effectively compensated through higher net-of-tax returns due to repeal of the income tax. The analysis is also related to literature that examines dynamic models of taxation, particularly work simulating consumption tax transitions and assessing the optimality of capital taxation in the long run.
Published: Auerbach, Alan J. and Daniel N. Shaviro (eds.) Institutional Foundations of Public Finance: Economic and Legal Perspectives. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2008.