The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center aims to provide independent analyses of current and longer-term tax issues and to communicate its analyses to the public and to policymakers in a timely and accessible manner. The Center combines top national experts in tax, expenditure, budget policy, and microsimulation modeling to concentrate on four overarching areas of tax policy that are critical to future debate:
Fair, simple, and efficient taxation: Virtually everyone agrees that taxes should be simple, fair, and efficient. Disagreement arises over how to define and achieve those objectives. The TPC quantifies trade-offs among these goals and searches for reforms that increase simplicity, equity, and efficiency.
Social policy in the tax code: Over the past decade, much of social policy has shifted from direct expenditures to tax subsidies. A full assessment of social policy as well as tax progressivity, marriage penalties, and related issues requires consideration of both tax and spending programs. The TPC is evaluating this revolution in tax and social policy.
Long-term implications of tax and budget choices: Long-term projections paint a constrained picture of the nation’s fiscal prospects because of unfunded public obligations related to rising health care costs and the retirement of the baby boomer generation. The TPC examines the implications of current policies and proposed tax changes for future generations.
State tax issues: Many Americans pay more in state and local taxes than they do in federal ones, and like the federal government, states often use the tax system to encourage business development and help low-income families. As part of UI’s State and Local Finance Initiative, TPC experts analyze how federal state and local tax policies interact and evaluate the fairness and efficiency of different ways that governments raise revenue.