Navigation

Overview

The usual objection to raising taxes on the wealthy or corporations is that such taxes undermine economic growth; yet there is remarkably little evidence to back up those claims.  Studies instead have emphasized that neither business tax cuts nor estate tax cuts play any significant role in local economic growth.

Instead, the sad truth is that almost every state tax system requires working families to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than their wealthier citizens.  In fact, as the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy detailed in their 2003 study, Who Pays?: "[O]nly four states require their best-off citizens to pay as much of their incomes in taxes as middle-income families have to pay."  As the graph below from ITEP shows, the average family pays significantly more of their income in state taxes than the wealthy.

 

Inequality is state tax systems

report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and EPI emphasizes that making state tax systems more progressive is also a way to mitigate the broader trend of growing before-tax economic inequality. 

Core Policies to Make Tax Systems More Progressive include:

 

General Resources to Make Tax System More Progressive