Progressive Tax Law and Legal Definition

Progressive tax refers to a tax by which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases. In a progressive tax structure, an individual or family's tax liability as a fraction of income rises with income. It takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income people than it does from low-income people. Most income taxes are considered progressive.

In Van Dyke v. Wilkinson, 25 F.2d 763, 770 (D. Wis. 1928), the court held that a progressive tax is the very antithesis of a tax by uniform rule.