ITEP Reports

Multinational Corporations Would Receive Half a Trillion in Tax Breaks from Trump's Repatriation Tax Proposal

January 18, 2017

One of the central questions for lawmakers looking to reform the federal tax code this year is how to address the $2.5 trillion in earnings that U.S. companies are holding offshore to avoid taxes. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have supported proposals that would either require or allow companies to repatriate these earnings to the United States at a discounted tax rate. These proposals have ranged from letting companies repatriate their earnings tax-free to requiring them to immediately pay a discounted rate of 20 percent. All of the proposals would give corporations a substantial tax discount and forego much-needed revenue.

News Release: Trump/Congressional Tax Holiday Would Net $514 Billion Corporate Tax Break

January 18, 2017

Fortune 500 corporations stand to reap $514 billion in tax breaks under President-elect Trump's proposal to allow companies to pay only a 10 percent tax rate on offshore profits. And the 10 firms that have most aggressively shifted their profits offshore would glean fully 25 percent of this massive corporate tax break, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) said today.

Most Americans Live in States with Variable-Rate Gas Taxes

January 17, 2017

The federal government and many states are unable to adequately maintain the nation's transportation infrastructure in part because the gasoline taxes intended to fund infrastructure projects are often poorly designed. Thirty states and the federal government levy fixed-rate gas taxes where the tax rate does not change even when the cost of infrastructure materials rises or when drivers transition toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and pay less in gas tax. The federal government's 18.4 cent gas tax, for example, has not increased in over twenty-three years. Likewise, more than twenty states have waited a decade or more since last raising their own gas tax rates.

How Long Has It Been Since Your State Raised Its Gas Tax?

January 17, 2017

Many state governments are struggling to repair and expand their transportation infrastructure because they are attempting to cover the rising cost of asphalt, machinery, and other construction materials with fixed-rate gasoline taxes that are rarely increased. The chart accompanying this brief shows (as of January 1, 2017) the number of years that have elapsed since each state's gas tax was last increased.

State Estate and Inheritance Taxes

December 21, 2016

For much of the last century, estate and inheritance taxes have played an important role in fostering strong communities by promoting equality of opportunity and helping states adequately fund public services. While many of the taxes levied by state and local governments fall most heavily on low-income families, only the very wealthy pay estate and inheritance taxes. Changes in the federal estate tax in recent years, however, caused states to reevaluate the structure of their estate and inheritance taxes. Unfortunately, the trend of late among states has tended toward weakening or completely eliminating them. But this need not be so; states can restore or improve their estate and inheritance taxes as a vital progressive revenue source to support services and communities while also protecting the source from the whims of federal lawmakers. This policy brief explains state inheritance and estate taxes, discusses recent state trends and policy decisions that have impacted the taxes, and explores how states can adopt or strengthen these important components of a progressive tax structure.