THE VALUE ADDED TAX Background and Implications for Agriculture

A value added tax (VAT) for the United States has been undergoing widening public discussion. It has been suggested alternately as (1) a replacement for an existing tax such as corporate income tax or real property tax, or (2) as a new revenue source. Evaluation of either type of use for a VAT requires information on how the economic position of different groups of taxpayers would be affected and on how revenue yields of Federal and State government would change. Since very little published information has been available on the VAT, this report attempts to provide basic background information relevant to determining effects on the farming and other subsectors within agriculture. The report includes background information on the history, concept, forms, and advantages and disadvantages of the VAT, and provides some data on effects of VAT for agriculture. Three important effects of a value added type of tax are on capital intensity, tax liability, and efficiency. These are examined for the eight major sectors of the economy, and for subsectors in the agricultural production sector. Three of four forms of VAT {gross product, income, and consumption types) are examined using input-output and other data for 1963. Farming uses large amounts of short-lived capital and gains relatively from forms of VAT permitting capital deductions. The sector 'WOuld be at a disadvantage if, as often suggested, VAT replaced the corporate income tax because relatively few farm businesses are incorporated. The sector would benefit, however, if a VAT replaced the real property tax, assuming the same revenue yield.

Issue Date:
Feb 01 1974
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