Mission & History

ITEP is a non-profit, non-partisan tax policy organization. We conduct rigorous analyses of tax and economic proposals and provide data-driven recommendations on how to shape equitable and sustainable tax systems. ITEP’s expertise and data uniquely enhance federal, state, and local policy debates by revealing how taxes affect both public revenues and people of various levels of income and wealth.

Taxes are the building blocks of a thriving economy and society, providing the resources for necessary investments in our communities. But as it is, our tax system too often fails to raise enough revenue to fund our common priorities, and state and local tax systems ask more of those who have the least. We believe the nation will be at its best when it lives up to the ideal of broadly shared prosperity for all. To move toward this vision, we promote common sense tax policies that are responsive to our ever-changing economy and that raise revenue in an equitable and sustainable way.

Our Work

Since its founding in 1980, ITEP has provided policymakers, advocates, and the public with important information regarding state and federal tax policy.  ITEP, along with its c(4)partner, Citizens for Tax Justice, became a nationally known voice for tax fairness after analyzing the effects of the 1981 tax cuts under President Reagan and demonstrating that ordinary families, in fact, experienced a net tax increase. Ultimately, ITEP’s corporate tax work helped secure critical provisions in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 that closed corporate tax loopholes and raised the corporate tax rate to ensure companies were paying their fair share.

Today, ITEP continues its corporate tax research, but a substantial part of its current work is analyzing the distributional and revenue effects of federal and state tax laws and proposals.

To do this work, ITEP built a “microsimulation tax model” in 1996 capable of analyzing the tax systems of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government. Our microsimulation model has the same capability as tax models used by the U.S. Treasury Department, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Congressional Budget Office, as well as by many state revenue departments. But ITEP coders also developed the capacity for the model to handle individual state projections; comparative analyses of tax policies across the states; 50-state analyses of the impact of federal tax policies and proposals, and analyses of federal tax policies.

ITEP’s tax model is in such demand that requests come in daily for analyses of specific projects and proposals. Each year, ITEP publishes tax incidence analyses in more than 30 states, responding to requests from lawmakers, the media and non-profit groups. ITEP also has published a series of detailed reports providing in-depth insights on reform possibilities in various states. These reports have helped to influence important policy debates in states across the nation.

Throughout its existence, the bulk of ITEP’s federal-level work has been done in partnership with Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ). ITEP staff have advised members of Congress and their staff on tax reform options and provided analysis of every major tax proposal over the last 30 years.

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.

Additional resources for learning about ITEP:

ITEP regularly produces research and analyses on federal and state tax policy issues. Our flagship reports include Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of Tax Systems in All 50 States, and our occasional corporate study, which examines effective tax rates paid by profitable corporations. The latest corporate study is Corporate Tax Avoidance in the First Year of the Trump Tax Law.