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Tax Policy Center




Tax Policy Center –

For those whom may not know much about the Tax Policy Center, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

The Center is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center aims to provide independent analyses of current and longer-term tax issues and to communicate its analyses to the public and to policymakers in a timely and accessible manner. The Center combines top national experts in tax, expenditure, budget policy, and micro simulation modeling to concentrate on four overarching areas of tax policy that are critical to future debate.

What We Do

TPC provides timely, accessible analysis and facts about tax policy to policymakers, journalists, citizens, and researchers. Topics / subtopics that we cover:

  • Model estimates: The TPC Micro simulation Model produces revenue and distribution estimates for the latest tax proposals and bills. More information about the tax model is available in the overview and a detailed methodology paper.
  • Research & Commentary: Find all of our current and past research by TPC researchers and staff.
  • Statistics: Our Statistics database compiles facts and figures from government agencies and other sources.
  • The Tax Policy Briefing Book: “A handy primer on how the tax system works.”— Tom Herman, Wall Street Journal. The Briefing Book is intended as a resource for the public, the press, and even presidential campaigns-in short, for anyone who wants to be well informed about current tax and budget matters.
  • TaxVox: The Tax Policy Center’s tax and budget policy blog. Join the discussion on tax legislation, administration, and more.

Time Periods that we cover:

Online the Urban Institute & Brookings Institutions hold annual reports from 2002-2016 of this year and is currently working on the report information for the year of 2017.

 It holds statistics for both the United States and the International foreign coed countries top marginal income tax rate from 1975-2013.

how they collected it: primary research, surveys, reports from other data collection agencies
how they present it: data sets (spreadsheets), tables, visualizations (charts and graphs), maps

The Mission

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 global economy. 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.

How do they know?

The State and Local Finance Initiative (SLFI) is an Urban Institute project in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The initiative equips policymakers, citizens, and the media with tools to understand and address the fiscal challenges and opportunities facing state and local governments. SLFI provides current, reliable, and unbiased research, data, and analysis. The initiative integrates knowledge across policy domains and government levels to give decision-makers the best possible information to navigate among competing options and understand tradeoffs.


The Tax Policy and Charities initiative analyzes interactions between the tax system and the charitable sector, with special emphasis on federal and state fiscal debates. Researchers study income and estate tax deductions for charitable giving, income- and property-tax exemptions for nonprofits, and private foundation excise taxes, among other issues. We inform the debate as it evolves, unpacking the controversy over donor-advised funds and analyzing the IRS scandal regarding social welfare 501(c)(4) organizations. We show how some proposals can strengthen the charitable sector at little or no cost to the government and how revenues can be raised without harming charitable giving.


Tax Model Resources

Work Cited

“Tax Policy Center.” Tax Policy Center. Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2017. <>.