In this second installment of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility newsletter, we lift up some of the important work that is underway including news, updates and resources that advance our agenda.
For example, below is a link to a Next City op-ed discussing the importance of expanding policies that already promote financial security, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit, while reforming existing tax policies that support higher education and retirement to ensure the needs of low-income communities and communities of color are met. Also in this issue, you’ll be able to download the recently released letter developed by the Alliance’s Steering Committee in response to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) call for how to improve the American tax system through tax reform. We encourage you to share the letter with your respective networks and via social media.
The Tax Alliance Team
The Half Trillion Dollar Tax Program that’s Driving Inequality
By Christopher Brown and Jeremie Greer
“This tax season, as partisan debate continues to dominate Capitol Hill, the US federal government will quietly spend over half a trillion dollars on tax programs to help American households build wealth. Indeed, these annual investments will promote wealth for those who already have it.
This is one of the great—and often overlooked—tragedies of our tax code: Congress spends billions of dollars each year on a tax program that is making wealth inequality worse.” Read more
“Indeed, while the heart of the ACA/AHCA fight was about preventing 24 million Americans from losing their health coverage, it was also about taxes. More specifically, it was about ensuring that the more than $500 billion we’re slated to spend over the next decade through the tax code for healthcare continues to provide greater, more equitable support to those that need it the most.” Read more
The Tax Alliance Provides Feedback to the Senate Finance Committee on Tax Reform: In response to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) call for input and feedback from tax stakeholders across the country on how to improve the American tax system through tax reform, the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility submitted a letter to the Finance Committee.
The letter hones in on four sets of principles for reform of tax-based aid that can lead to more equitable programs that will expand opportunity throughout the country:
- Increasing Financial Security for Working Families
- Making Higher Education Tax Expenditures Work for Everyone
- Using the Tax Code to Encourage Savings and Investment for Retirement
- Reduce Subsidies for Mortgage Debt and Larger Homes Owned by High-Income Households.
Permanently Authorize VITA: Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) introduced the bipartisan Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Permanence Act of 2017. This House bill marks an important step towards a fairer tax system and is a testament to the work you’ve done to educate members of Congress on the importance of this program. Representatives Davis and Curbelo are circulating a letter of support among their colleagues in Congress, and we need your help to get as many cosponsors as possible on this bill. Read more
This Asset Building Policy Network (ABPN) held an interactive webinar in late March on the racial wealth divide and the role that tax policies play in driving this ever-growing gap. The discussion focused on policies like the EITC that are helping to combat the racial wealth gap and actions we can take to ensure the tax code is helping those who need the most help building wealth, build wealth. Download the webinar and additional resources.
Last month, at the People and Places conference, a discussion was held with advocates and policy experts on how the Trump administration’s recently released tax plan could impact working-class communities and communities of color. The panel, featuring the Asset Building Policy Network and other national advocacy organizations, discussed policy recommendations as well as tools for how to engage communities in the legislative process. To learn more about this event and to access conference resources from, click here.