Tax Policy Center

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Expert

Signe-Mary McKernan

Senior Fellow

Low-income and minority families can acquire assets and become more financially secure if given the opportunity. Emergency savings, homes, and pensions can form a family's safety net and give low-income Americans a foothold in the middle class. Asset building is an important complement to our nation's largely income- and consumption-based social safety net. Yet the poor are frequently left out of asset-based policies because these subsidies are provided through the tax code.

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Research report

The federal government channels much of its support for asset building through the tax code. Asset-building tax subsidies, primarily for homeownership and retirement saving, totaled $384 billion in 2013. This report reviews federal tax expenditures for housing, retirement, savings, business...

March 7, 2014
Benjamin H. Harris, C. Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caleb Quakenbush, Caroline Ratcliffe

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