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Who Pays? Sixth Edition

Poorest 20 percent pay a 50 percent higher effective state and local tax rate than the top 1 percent
ITEP’s sixth edition of Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax System in All 50 States finds that most state and local tax systems continue to tax low- and middle-income households at higher rates than the wealthy.

What to Watch for on Tax Policy During the Presidential Primary

Taxes fund our democracy and candidates’ philosophy on how the nation raises revenues to fund its priorities matters. Here is an overview of how bold progressive tax policy ideas (on which some candidates have stated policy positions) can work.

Understanding Major Federal Tax Credit Proposals

Federal lawmakers have announced at least five proposals to significantly expand existing tax credits or create new ones to benefit low- and moderate-income people. While these proposals vary a great deal and take different approaches, all would primarily benefit taxpayers in income groups who received only a small share of benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Case for Extending State-Level Child Tax Credits to Those Left Out: A 50-State Analysis

11.5 million children live in poverty across the country. Lawmakers can tackle poverty in their home states with refundable state-level Child Tax Credits and reach families the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act left behind. Joint report with the Columbia Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

The Illusion of Race-Neutral Tax Policy

While ITEP has produced quantitative and qualitative research on class-based tax inequities, we, until recently, have ignored how tax policies affect communities based on race. Solely examining the tax law in the context of class misses a bigger-picture story about how the nation’s public policies not only perpetuate widening income and wealth inequality, they also preserve historic and current injustices that continue to allow white communities to build wealth while denying the same level of opportunity (and often suppressing it) to communities of color.


Federal Policy

ITEP’s federal policy resources provide quantitative and qualitative research and analysis on current tax policies, proposals, and reform options. Its distributional analyses highlight how tax proposals will affect low-income, middle-class and wealthy Americans nationally and in all 50 states.

Learn more about our Federal Policy work

State Policy

State taxes pay for essential public services, from education to health care. But the ideal design of a tax system is complicated. ITEP’s state policy resources offer insights into central issues, including the impact of state tax systems on individuals, families, and businesses. Its work also analyzes the sustainability of revenue sources over time.

Learn more about our State Policy work

Corporate Tax Research

ITEP’s corporate tax research examines the tax practices of Fortune 500 companies. Besides its corporate study on average effective tax rates paid by the nation’s largest, most profitable corporations, ITEP produces research on subjects such as offshore cash holdings, tax haven abuse, executive stock options and other tax loopholes.

See our Corporate Tax Policy work

Expert's View

There are plenty of obvious fixes: We can stop taxing money that goes mostly to the rich, like stock dividend and capital gains, at lower rates than we tax the earned income that most of us work for and live on. We can start taxing the wealth of multi-millionaires at least as much as we already tax the homes that are the main source of wealth for the middle class. And we can restore a reasonable estate tax on the many millions that get passed down from a great, great grandfather to an heir who lives off the inheritance. The smartest states are already moving to make their tax codes more progressive.
Amy Hanauer

Amy Hanauer
Executive Director

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