October 17, 2018

DC Fiscal Policy Institute: Narrowing Income Inequality Through the Tax Code

ITEP Work in Action

DC’s tax system stands out in two key ways, according to a new analysis on how state tax policies affect families at different income levels. First, taxes on DC families living on very low incomes–below about $24,000 a year–are lower than in any state in the U.S. That good news is due primarily to income and property tax credits targeted to help residents working hard to make ends meet. But the analysis shows that families with incomes just above that level pay the same share of their income in DC taxes (income, sales, and property taxes) as the District’s wealthiest residents. At a time when the income of the top fifth of DC households is 34 times larger than the bottom fifth ($320,000 compared with $9,000)—and a time of growing income gaps between Black and white residents—the District should be asking its wealthiest residents to pay more to address the city’s inequities.

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