Oct 7, 2019

The overall tax rate for the richest 400 households last year was 23%

Hudson Yards neighborhood in Manhattan. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate for federal, state and local taxes than any other income group for the first time on record, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Tax rate for the wealthy has steadily dropped since the 1950s and 1960s, when the wealthy paid vastly higher tax rates than the middle class or poor.

By the numbers: The overall tax rate for the richest 400 households last year was 23%, down from 70% in 1950 and 47% in 1980.

  • The data used in the piece comes from the from a book called “The Triumph of Injustice,” to be released next week.
  • The authors are University of California, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, who are economic advisers to Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign.

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