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Tax Policy

Tax policies should be guided by evidence, not special interests, and support the needs and priorities of communities. They should be efficient, transparent, sustainable, and fair.

Tax collection and spending policies impact local economies, the delivery of public services, and the quality of life of voters. However, the tax system is arcane and difficult to understand. Citizens deserve more information about whether economic development policies are actually effective and whether tax codes are working as intended and promoting fairness and intergenerational equity.

We’re funding organizations that study tax policies, evaluate their effects, and seek to identify sound strategies to improve economic mobility and address inequality. Our grantees advise policymakers on how to design tax codes to achieve short- and long-term goals, provide expert testimony to Congress and state legislatures, and have developed state-of-the-art modeling tools to help determine the impact of major reforms like the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

Image: The Senate chamber at the Illinois State Capitol, where lawmakers in 2015 approved an income tax hike. (Seth Perlman/The Associated Press file)

Tax Policy Grants


4.4% of GDP
Projected average federal deficit, 2020-2029 Source
Federal debt held by the public as percent of gross domestic product, as of January 2019 Source
Number of states that faced revenue shortfalls in 2017
Total spent on the five largest federal tax expenditures Source

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Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

Map of the U.S. made of Arnold Ventures icons