The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) is a research center providing the public with rigorous, independent analysis of tax policy issues. We receive hundreds of queries from students, journalists, and policymakers each year, and even more during presidential campaign season. This document...

January 14, 2020
Mark J. Mazur

This brief examines major tax expenditures for health care under current law and analyzes three potential reforms to the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) premiums. We use the Tax Policy Center microsimulation model’s revamped health module as well as health insurance...

January 13, 2020
Gordon B. MerminMatthew BuettgensClare Wang PanRobin Wang

Until now TPC’s basic distributional analysis did not separately examine charitable contributions. As part of this research project, we have created a new module that extends the capacity of our microsimulation model to simulate the effect of proposed policy changes on charitable contributions....

December 23, 2019
Robert McClellandC. Eugene SteuerleChenxi Lu

This chartbook explores the implications of current-law income tax incentives for charitable donations along with several alternatives for tax deductions that are more universally available.

November 12, 2019
Robert McClellandC. Eugene SteuerleChenxi LuAravind Boddupalli

Unemployment Insurance (UI) serves a core purpose that is intuitive for both economists and noneconomists: it provides insurance against the risk of job loss. Because employment is the only or primary source of income for most families, job loss often delivers a financial blow that would be...

October 28, 2019
Ryan NunnDavid Ratner

Local officials, impact investors, and philanthropy have important roles to play in helping communities access Opportunity Zone financing that benefits current residents, especially those with low or moderate incomes. Using Chicago and Cook County as a case study, we identify steps these actors...

January 10, 2019
Brett TheodosBrady Meixell

Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the federal government’s latest economic development incentive, Opportunity Zones, is currently in the beginning stages of implementation. While it has the potential to stimulate significant cash flow across the country, its success partially depends...

September 25, 2019
Brett TheodosCody EvansBrady Meixell

When a recession hits, the federal government usually responds with tax cuts and additional financial assistance, because automatic policies built into the law often prove inadequate and elected officials need and want to respond to the crisis. This brief compares the distributional and stimulus...

June 14, 2018
C. Eugene SteuerleCaleb QuakenbushElaine Maag

This policy brief summarizes the implications of a carbon-constrained future on coal-dependent local governments in the United States. It considers the outlook for US coal production over the next decade under such conditions and explores how county finances could be affected. It also considers...

August 20, 2019
Adele C. MorrisNoah KaufmanSiddhi Doshi

This policy brief summarizes the impact of traditional individual retirement accounts and Roth individual retirement accounts on personal choices and on government finances. Although the accounts are equivalent under certain circumstances, in practice they often differ in important ways for both...

September 5, 2019
Leonard E. BurmanWilliam G. GaleAaron Krupkin