Date of Award

7-1-1987

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name

M.P.A.

Department

Public Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Kempe Ronald Hope

Abstract

The primary intent of this degree paper is to discuss some of the probable impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Blacks. An attempt has been made to show the economic status of the Black population and to explain the probable impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on it.

The old tax system had several shortcomings which prompted the need for tax reform. Among the several reasons for a new tax system were lack of efficiency and equity in the old system. Black politicians advocated more support for the equity side due to the disproportional distribution of the Black population, the distribution of income (majority of Black incomes are found in the lower income brackets and only about 20 percent of their income comes from property while majority of it comes from employment). Also, proportionally, more Black female head of households are found in that category (head of household) than White females. These circumstances would put the Black population in a position to bear more of the tax burden proportionally, than the White population.

The major findings of the study were that (1) the restructuring of the tax rates could lower the progressivity of the tax system (this could probably have a disproportional adverse impact on the Black population), and (2) that the increase in the standard deduction and personal exemptions would probably compensate for this adverse impact on Blacks and other minority groups.

It was concluded that the impact of the overall tax system on the tax burdens of the Black population, depends on the extent to which the system stresses progressive versus regressive taxes. There is still room for improvement and reform, and that through more research, income tax reforms can be made better.

The main sources of information for this paper include The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Consumer Reports, National Tax Journal, publications from the Bureau of the Census, and the Internal Revenue Service. Also, a wide variety of primary and secondary information was used.

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