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A Brief History of Marginal Income Tax Rates

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The U.S. income tax was first enacted in 1861, abolished in 1872, reintroduced in 1894, and declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1895. The Sixteenth Amendment (1913) empowered Congress to levy taxes on “income from whatever source derived,” without apportioning the revenue among the states. Soon after, the Revenue Act reinstated the income tax but made it applicable to only a very few, relatively affluent households.

Suggested citation: "A Brief History of Marginal Income Tax Rates," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 02-01, pp. 13, 01.01.2002.

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