WELCOME to our first Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility newsletter! Now more than ever, we need to stand together to preserve and expand economic mobility. With over $660 billion in annual spending going directly to households, there’s no bigger tool in the federal policy toolbox for accomplishing this goal than the tax code.
The Alliance is made up of nearly 40 national advocacy organizations, racial justice groups, think tanks and tax experts united in the fight for inclusive, progressive and equitable policy. As Congress gears up to tackle tax reform, today we are publishing a set of principles for reform, which Tax Alliance members adopted to ensure that higher education, housing and retirement tax policy is equitable and inclusive.
Along with these principles and this newsletter, the Alliance is also excited to launch our website; we invite you to visit and bookmark taxallianceforeconomicmobility.org. In our newsletters and through our website, you’ll learn what’s happening in the equitable tax reform world and get real-time updates about Tax Alliance members’ efforts to expand economic mobility.
Thank you for your support,
Christopher Brown Jeremie Greer
PolicyLink Prosperity Now
VISIT THE TAX ALLIANCE’S NEW WEBSITE
The Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility has launched its new website! Visit taxallianceforeconomicmobility.org to engage and educate voters and policymakers on what it will take to build an inclusive, progressive and equitable tax code. We have designed this platform to spark action and fresh conversations about opportunities for tax reform.
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TAX ALLIANCE PRINCIPLES FOR REFORM
The Tax Alliance, comprised of three working groups – homeownership, higher education and retirement – includes some of the nation’s top experts on the racial wealth gap and in the asset-building field. These groups meet quarterly to share the latest insights from the field and to take a close look at the U.S. tax code for policy opportunities that would help build the long-term security of families, communities and the national economy. Our four policy reform documents outline our guiding principles for reform in these areas.
TAX CREDITS FOR LOW-INCOME WORKERS
Unlike many other poorly designed tax exemptions and deductions that deliver the bulk of their benefits to the highest-income filers, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) both work well to help low-income working families. But there are opportunities to strengthen the credits and build on their success, including filling the gap for workers not raising children and making the CTC fully refundable. Congress should also reject proposals that purport to reduce improper payments by actually making the credit more difficult to claim or cutting benefits. Read more
A house is more than a home; it’s a pathway to opportunity. Considering the impact of redlining, predatory financing and the foreclosure crisis on communities of color, this set of principles for reform focuses on access to affordable housing and increased homeownership for low- and moderate- income Americans. The principles look at housing tax benefits, specifically the mortgage interest deduction, which primarily benefits the wealthy. Read more
Higher education is critical for economic mobility. A college degree can be a ticket out of poverty, and few investments have a greater rate of return than an Associate’s, professional or Bachelor’s degree. But higher education has not had the same return on investment for everyone, especially people of color. This set of principles for reform considers tax-based aid, tax-subsidized college savings accounts, how these current tax subsidies fail to expand economic mobility and what tax subsidies do. Read more
We believe that all Americans deserve to retire with dignity and we recognize the growing need for families to build retirement savings alongside their Social Security benefits in order to have economic well-being in retirement. Yet, 62% of African Americans and 69% of Latinos do not have any assets in a retirement savings account. This set of reform principles takes a deep dive into tax code policies that support retirement security for low-income people and people of color. Read more
The Tax Alliance on Economic Mobility newsletter is developed in partnership with Prosperity Now PolicyLink and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. This newsletter aims to provide more depth to specific policy conversations about our tax code to best enhance economic security for low- and moderate-income communities.
The Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility is a national coalition that brings together asset building and racial justice advocates interested in expanding savings and investment opportunity for working families.
All views represented do not necessarily reflect the positions of all Tax Alliance members.