Advancing Racial and Gender Equity Through the Tax Code

A Funder Convening at the 2018 Prosperity Summit

How do tax policies and related programs intersect with racial, gender, and immigrant justice? How are states and localities building on tax credit successes and responding to the urgency of the tax changes brought on by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? How can philanthropy—funders focused on equity and those focused on economic mobility—work together to promote more inclusive and equitable tax policies that help build prosperity for all?

This meeting is co-hosted by the EITC Funders Network, the Asset Funders Network (AFN), Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST), and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE).

Speakers include:
  • Don Baylor, Senior Associate, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Taifa Smith Butler, Executive Director, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
  • Judy Darnell, Vice President of Public Policy, United Ways of California
  • Brett Grant, Director of Research and Policy, Voices for Racial Justice
  • Darrick Hamilton, Professor of Economic and Urban Policy, New School for Social Research
  • Amy Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Income Security, National Women’s Law Center
  • Heather McCulloch, Founder and Director, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap
  • Jackie Vimo, Economic Justice Policy Analyst, National Immigration Law Center

The tax code is one of the largest tools that the federal, state, and municipal governments have to provide families with economic security and wealth-building opportunities. Yet there is strong evidence that the tax code systematically disadvantages women, people of color, immigrants and low-income families. Homeowners with home mortgages get tax breaks, but we know that people of color have been systematically left out of homeownership opportunities; high-income earners with retirement and other savings get tax breaks, but we know that women and people of color are more likely to be in jobs that do not pay enough or do not offer retirement savings opportunities. Further, immigrant workers and families are increasingly excluded—either explicitly or implicitly—from these initiatives. These, and other tax code priorities, perpetuate the racial and gender economic gaps that exist in the U.S.

Federal tax legislation enacted last December cut taxes for those already at the top of the income spectrum, missing an opportunity to create more equitable wealth-building incentives. In the wake of the new federal tax law, states and localities have the opportunity to further exacerbate these inequities or, more importantly, promote economic security and mobility through expanding access to tax credits and other local and regional strategies that address institutional barriers.

Want to know more? Check out our new resource page on Equity and the Tax Code! You’ll find links to written resources as well as a short video series on equity and taxes. 

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