The tax code encourages the wealthy to hoard their wealth, shields such wealth from taxation, and enables its transfer across generations. By doing so, the tax code further concentrates wealth in the hands of the privileged few, perpetuates racial and gender wealth gaps, and deprives us of revenues that could be put toward public investments that benefit women and people of color.
This report examines the tax treatment of wealth as a gender, racial, and economic justice issue. Employment discrimination along with countless other current and historical discriminatory policies mean that women and people of color are less able to access and accumulate wealth. In contrast, the wealth of those at the top continues to grow at the expense of the economic security of women and people of color. And largely due to the quiet but relentless efforts of the ultra-rich to influence politics and public policy, the tax code increasingly encourages and rewards extreme wealth and exacerbates the concentration of wealth among a small number of predominantly white men.
This report describes how current tax policies contribute to racial and gender wealth gaps, and why outsized wealth concentrated in the hands of an elite few harms women of color, women overall, and people of color. The report also provides proposals to tax wealth more equitably, including 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, reduce gender and racial wealth disparities, and increase equity in the tax system.