Tax Policy Center

About Us

Mission Statement

The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, has been educating the public and its leaders about tax and budget policy for over fifteen years. TPC combines high-quality, nonpartisan research with an unflagging commitment to translating complex analysis into accessible and engaging language. Simply put, we believe that better information, rigorous analysis, fresh ideas, and clear communication can shape decisions and improve policy. We focus on five overarching areas:

  • Fair, simple, and efficient taxation: Virtually everyone agrees that taxes should be simple, fair, and efficient. We quantify trade-offs among these goals and identify reforms that increase simplicity, equity, and efficiency.

  • Business tax reform: There is broad consensus that our current rules for taxing business income are out of step with the realities of a globaleconomy. We analyze the economic effects of proposed business taxreforms and identify alternative approaches.

  • Social policy in the tax code: Many programs to aid low-income families and promote other social goals are designed as tax subsidies instead of direct expenditures. TPC evaluates the effectiveness of these policies in achieving their goals and their effects on the distribution of the tax burden.

  • Long-term implications of tax and budget choices: The US faces a dismal fiscal future in part because of unfunded public obligations related to rising health care costs and the retirement of Baby Boomers. We examine the implications of current policies and proposed tax changes on future generations.

  • State tax issues: Many Americans pay more in state and local taxes than they do in federal ones, and states also use the tax system to promote social policy goals. TPC experts analyze the interaction of federal, state, and local tax policies and evaluate their fairness and efficiency.