Mitt Romney may have hurt his presidential hopes by point out how 47% of Americans don't pay taxes as supporters of President Obama dismissed his comments as elitist and dismissive. But the fact remains: A significant number of Americans pay no income taxes.
CNBC notes today that this number is now closer to 43% and is predicted to continue declining:
The share of households who aren't paying any federal income tax has fallen, and a new analysis from the Tax Policy Center predicts that it will continue to shrink in years to come.
That's partly because a slew of temporary tax cuts enacted during the Great Recession have started to expire. And it's partly because an improving economy means people's incomes should slowly start to increase, adding to their income tax bill.
By 2024, the tax policy think tank projects that only about one-third of households won't be paying any federal income taxes. The improvements might take a while because the economy has been adding new jobs at a painfully slow pace, and many workers aren't yet seeing much bigger paychecks.