Long-term troubles for this country and this planet now demand our attention. Progressive tax policy would transform our ability to tackle them.
blog April 18, 2022
Public Problems Demand Public Solutions
blog March 2, 2022
SOTU and GOP Response Highlight Dramatic Difference in Parties’ Tax Policy Approach
Since last year, multiple states across the country have proposed or are pursuing costly income and other tax cuts that are heavily tilted toward the highest-income households. State advocates have worked to beat back these proposals and sounded the alarm about the long-term consequences of tax cuts, but legislatures (most GOP-led) continue to introduce and approve top-heavy and permanent tax cuts. This state tax-cut fervor took center stage last night when Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa gave the Republican response to President Biden’s SOTU address.
blog January 14, 2022
The Compelling Data and Moral Case for Continuing the Child Tax Credit Expansion
In just six short months, the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC), enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), decreased the number of children living in poverty by 40 percent. ITEP estimated that the lowest-income 20 percent of households with children would receive a 35 percent income boost from this policy alone in 2021. This is a meaningful, life-changing sum.
blog January 5, 2022
The Pendulum Is Swinging Toward Tax Justice
Tax justice is deeply connected to the movements for equality and racial justice. Progressive tax policy can ensure more of us share in the prosperous economy that our collective tax dollars make possible. It can mitigate economic disparities by class and race. And it can make sure the government has the resources it needs to function for all of us.
blog December 21, 2021
Why Treasury’s Pending Race-Based Analysis of Stimulus Payments is Important
One important data inadequacy is the lack of demographic information in tax data. While the IRS data offers rich data on taxpayer income, it does not collect information on important demographic characteristics like race and ethnicity. This presents a challenge for researchers interested in the racialized impacts of the U.S. tax system and has prompted many researchers and organizations to advocate for public-use tax data that is disaggregated by race and ethnicity.
blog December 17, 2021
Pandemic Policies Demonstrate Government Can Address Widening Economic Inequality If Policymakers So Choose
We are surrounded by evidence that economic inequality is spinning out of control, yet we also see straightforward examples of how government can stop the downward spiral should it choose to do so. The Build Back Better Act, which invests in communities and ensures the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, is one such example. Congress should pass it.
blog November 9, 2021
Paying The Estate Tax Shouldn’t Be Optional for the Super RichProPublica this year released multiple exposés revealing how the nation’s wealthiest individuals and families avoid taxes on an unimaginable scale. Most recently, it uncovered Republican and Democratic elected officials and political…
blog July 15, 2021
Experts Weigh in on the Payoffs of Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments
During a Tuesday webinar (The Child Tax Credit in Practice: What We Know about the Payoffs of Payments) hosted by ITEP and the Economic Security Project, panelists explained why the expanded Child Tax Credit is a transformative policy that should be extended beyond 2021. They highlighted tax policy and anti-poverty research and discussed lessons learned from demonstration projects that have provided a guaranteed income to low-income families.
brief May 25, 2021
Income Tax Increases in the President’s American Families Plan
President Biden’s American Families Plan includes revenue-raising proposals that would affect only very high-income taxpayers. The two most prominent of these proposals would restore the top personal income tax rate to 39.6 percent and eliminate tax breaks related to capital gains for millionaires. As this report explains, these proposals would affect less than 1 percent of taxpayers and would be confined almost exclusively to the richest 1 percent of Americans. The plan includes other tax increases that would also target the very well-off and would make our tax system fairer. It would raise additional revenue by more effectively enforcing tax laws already on the books.
blog May 14, 2021
State Tax Codes & Racial Inequities: An Illinois Case Study
Earlier this year, ITEP released a report providing an overview of the impacts of state and local tax policies on race equity. Against a backdrop of vast racial disparities in income and wealth resulting from historical and current injustices both in public policy and in broader society, the report highlights that how states raise revenue to invest in disparity-reducing investments like education, health, and childcare has important implications for race equity.
blog May 13, 2021
Attacks on Voting Rights, Secret Tax-Cut Negotiations in Arizona Reflect Broader Trend to Undermine Democracy
The onslaught of news about multiple states introducing or passing legislation to make it harder to vote is a clear signal that our democracy is in crisis. Decades of policymaking and judicial rulings have created a system in which the voices of the wealthy and powerful have more weight, and some lawmakers are determined to further rig the system and keep it that way.
report March 31, 2021
Taxes and Racial Equity: An Overview of State and Local Policy Impacts
Historic and current injustices, both in public policy and in broader society, have resulted in vast disparities in income and wealth across race and ethnicity. Employment discrimination has denied good job opportunities to people of color. An uneven system of public education funding advantages wealthier white people and produces unequal educational outcomes. Racist policies such as redlining and discrimination in lending practices have denied countless Black families the opportunity to become homeowners or business owners, creating extraordinary differences in intergenerational wealth. These inequities have long-lasting effects that compound over time.
blog March 25, 2021
Tax Reform Must Include Adequate Funding for the IRSThe Biden administration has made clear that its top priorities include a major recovery package with critical investments to boost the nation’s economy and tax increases for corporations and the…
blog March 1, 2021
Senator Warren Introduces Federal Wealth Tax Legislation
With the onslaught of news about billionaire wealth soaring while low- and moderate-income families have trouble making ends meet, a federal wealth tax makes good economic and fiscal sense—and the public supports it. One poll found that 64 percent of respondents favor the idea, including a majority of Republicans.
blog February 26, 2021
An Unequal Recession Will Breed Unequal Recovery Without Bold Investments
Without bold investments now, experts predict a longer, more unequal recovery. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the framework for legislation expected to pass this week in the House, would boost economic well-being for those whose livelihoods were most affected by the pandemic-induced economic crisis.
blog February 18, 2021
Enacting a Federal Wealth Tax Is Playing the Long Game
Should lawmakers enact laws that they believe are sensible and constitutional, or should they shape their legislative agenda around what they believe ideological Supreme Court justices will allow? This is a dilemma facing Americans who support a federal wealth tax.
blog February 2, 2021
President Biden’s Child Tax Credit Proposal Could Right a Historical Wrong
Many 1990s policies were grounded in harmful, erroneous ideas such as financial struggles are due to personal shortcomings and less government is better. Lawmakers didn’t apply these ideas consistently, however. For example, there was no drive to reduce corporate welfare even as policymakers slashed the safety net and disinvested in lower-income communities. So, it’s not surprising that a bipartisan group of lawmakers concluded during that era that the CTC was an appropriate vehicle to give higher-income households a tax break while leaving out poor children.
blog January 27, 2021
Disaggregating Data Illuminates a Path to Equitable Policy
The Biden administration’s move last week to establish an interagency working group to examine how well data is broken down, or disaggregated, within public sector data sources is welcome news. The executive order specifically names the limited availability of datasets disaggregated “by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, income, veteran status, [and] other key demographic variables.”
blog December 8, 2020
A Second Round of Direct Cash Payments Could Provide an Average $1,550 to the Poorest Families
It will not magically become easier for families to put food on the table or make their next rent payment. Policymakers must act. People are struggling because they are either out of work, involuntarily working part-time, trying to financially catch up after being out of work for a spell, or squeaking by because we live in a wealthy democracy that fails to guarantee basics such as access to affordable housing, health care, food, and jobs that pay living wages.
ITEP Work in Action December 8, 2020
Connecticut Voices for Children: Advancing Economic Justice Through Tax ReformConnecticut Voices for Children released a new report, “Advancing Economic Justice Through Tax Reform,” which proposes a tax restructure so that the system is fair for all residents. The report provides an…
blog November 30, 2020
After the Dust Has Settled: How Progressive Tax Policy Fared in the General Election
While the results of the 2020 presidential election are all but set in stone—and a sign of life for progressive policy—the results of state tax ballot initiatives are more of a mixed bag. However, the overall fight for tax equity and raising more revenue to invest in people and communities is trending in the right direction.
blog November 20, 2020
State Tax Policy: Innovations to Embrace, Schemes to Avoid
Better tax policies will help communities emerge from the current staggering fiscal crisis with tax structures that reduce inequality at a time when rich people are thriving and public services are under siege. Preserving public spending will boost the economy and improve lives–and cutting these essentials will not only hurt people but also deepen the downturn, a lesson we learned in the Great Recession’s slow recovery. Other states should take note.
blog November 12, 2020
Biden’s Economic Policy Agenda Deserves Serious Debate, Not Obstruction
Obstructing policies that improve economic well-being should not be on any party’s legislative agenda, especially when so many are barely keeping their heads above water.
blog September 30, 2020
Donald Trump and Taxes: Fast and Loose with Loopholes or Fraud?
The president’s apparent abuse of everything from hair-care deductions to consulting fees for family members raises questions about whether Trump was fast and loose with tax loopholes or whether the IRS simply wasn’t enforcing the law. Either way, Trump successfully flouting or pushing the limits of the law shouldn’t come as a surprise: Congress has cut IRS funding, in real terms in each of the last 10 years.
blog September 29, 2020
It’s Time to Change the Tax Laws to Make Donald Trump and Corporate Giants Pay Up
It’s time for a new approach. Trump’s egregious tax avoidance further exposes a system that preserves an enormous and growing economic divide. Congress has gutted IRS funding so that we don’t have the resources to audit wealthy tax avoiders. And lobbyists continue to secure giveaways for corporate clients that do nothing for our communities.