NWLC Launches Tax the Patriarchy Campaign to Make the Tax Code Work Better for Women

(Washington, DC – April 15, 2022) —  The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) announced a new campaign today to Tax the Patriarchy with the release of a new report, Advancing Gender and Racial Equity by Taxing Wealth, and a Tax Calculator tool, which provides examples of how much revenue could be raised by changing tax policies — and how that money could be invested in women and families.

The campaign kicks off days before the deadline to file 2021 taxes. Now more than ever, it’s clear that loopholes and unfair tax cuts allow the rich to get richer, while everyone else—especially women and people of color— get left behind. Tax the Patriarchy will tackle this inequality at its core. The current tax code is complicated and difficult to understand, and the wealthy can hire armies of accountants to help them navigate it. The campaign will help the average person understand how the tax code can be reformed to tax the wealthy more fairly, make the tax code work better for women and people of color, and raise revenues to support investments for everyone.

The new report frames taxing wealth as a gender and racial justice issue, and explores how:

  • While progressive overall, the tax code increasingly rewards extreme wealth, shields it from taxation, and allows it to grow larger across generations. Because of the preferential rates and loopholes available to the very wealthy, the current tax system enables enormous amounts of wealth to be accumulated by very few.
  • The tax code has helped to create and perpetuate massive wealth inequality: For every $1 of wealth owned by a single white man, single Black women and single Latinas own 9 cents. And the pandemic has made these inequalities even worse.
  • Wealth inequality means that many women and people of color lack needed resources to live economically secure lives and access opportunity, while the wealthiest people use their wealth to wield excess political power.
  • If we changed the unfair tax rules so the wealthy are paying their fair share, we could invest the revenue in key supports that would help women and people of color succeed in this economy—like child care, health care, education, affordable housing, or paid leave. And the tax code would be more equitable.
  • Proposals to tax wealth more fairly include: taxing income from wealth like income from labor, taxing wealth directly through a wealth tax, and taxing intergenerational transfers of wealth. Taken comprehensively, these proposals would curb excessive wealth and help reduce gender and racial wealth disparities.

Right now, the average billionaire pays a lower effective tax rate than many working families!  When only a few people at the very top have all the wealth, it can impede economic growth. But it doesn’t have to be this way: the tax code can be a powerful tool to reduce inequality and to raise revenue to help women, families, and communities. It’s time to fix the tax code and Tax the Patriarchy.