April 12, 2019
Income inequality is a national challenge. And inadequate federal revenue is a challenge that the nation will eventually have to reckon with. This chart book makes a strong case for why federal lawmakers should seriously consider progressive revenue-raising options.
April 11, 2019
For decades, profitable Fortune 500 companies have been able to manipulate the tax system to avoid paying even a dime in tax on billions of dollars in U.S. profits. This ITEP report provides the first comprehensive look at how the new corporate tax laws that took effect after the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects the scale of corporate tax avoidance. The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America’s biggest corporations were able to zero out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income. Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes, as the new 21 percent corporate tax rate requires, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion, blowing a $20.7 billion hole in the federal budget last year.
April 23, 2019
In early April, a diverse but mostly black crowd took to the streets in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C. to protest T-Mobile’s decision to order Metro PCS to cease playing gogo music. This tale is a shining example of why economic investment—especially taxpayer-incentivized investment—in underserved communities is fraught with controversy. Who ultimately benefits after developers pour millions of dollars into these communities? And, as this controversy reveals, are the usually black and brown denizens of these neighborhoods and businesses that may have catered to them no longer welcome once economic development reaches a critical mass?
April 18, 2019
Tax and budget debates are now mostly complete in Alabama, Arkansas, and Colorado, but just starting or just getting interesting in several other states. Delaware and Massachusetts lawmakers, for example, are looking at progressive income tax increases on wealthy households, and New Hampshire may use a progressive tax on capital gains to simultaneously improve its upside-down tax code and invest in education. Nebraska and Texas, on the other hand, are also looking to improve school funding but plan to do so on the backs of low- and middle-income families through regressive sales tax increases. Fiscal debates are heating up in California and Louisiana as well.
April 17, 2019
In a new 50-state analysis, ITEP and the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University teamed up to explain how state-level Child Tax Credits (CTCs) could lift between 2.1 and 4.5 million children out of poverty. The report outlines options that would help families who received little to no benefit from the expansion of the federal CTC included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
April 17, 2019
As of 2017, 11.5 million children in the United States were living in poverty. A national, fully-refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) would effectively address persistently high child poverty rates at the national and state levels. The federal CTC in its current form falls short of achieving this goal due to its earnings requirement and lack of full refundability. Fortunately, states have options to make state-level improvements in the absence of federal policy change. A state-level CTC is a tool that states can employ to remedy inequalities created by the current structure of the federal CTC. State-level CTCs would significantly reduce child poverty and deep poverty in all states while also addressing racial inequities that the current system has exacerbated. This report examines the poverty impacts, costs and beneficiaries of two options for a state-level CTC.
April 17, 2019
New 50-State Analysis: State Child Tax Credits Would Lift 2.1 to 4.5 Million Children out of Poverty
Expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) at the state level could lift millions of children out of poverty and help families who benefited little or not at all from the 2017 federal expansion of the CTC, according to a 50-state report released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University.
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.
Contrary to claims that the rich pay a vast majority of taxes, the reality is very different. The nation's tax system as a whole is only moderately progressive.
State policy toward cannabis is evolving rapidly and lawmakers have a responsibility to structure these taxes properly in light of the best available evidence. As more states consider legalization, a new ITEP report analyzes the past five years of cannabis taxation and provides policy recommendations for states moving forward.
America has long needed a more equitable tax code that raises enough revenue to invest in building shared prosperity. Any true federal tax reform plan would, at a minimum, include these revenue-raisers, among other provisions.
A federal wealth tax on the richest 0.1 percent of Americans is a viable approach for Congress to raise revenue and is one of the few approaches that could truly address rising inequality. The goals of raising revenue and addressing inequality will be difficult to achieve if federal tax policy continues to focus on taxing income almost exclusively.
Whether it’s at the state or federal level, ITEP produces careful research and in-depth analyses of tax policies, and provides a voice for working people in tax policy debates. State advocates, policymakers and media often use our work to inform public discourse on current and proposed tax policies.
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.
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.
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.
Americans have long wanted progressive taxes but few, if any, lawmakers publicly backed this view. What’s happening now isn’t a shift in public opinion, rather it’s Washington finally catching up with the American people.