Skip to content
Sean Bray Tax Foundation
Expert

Sean Bray

Director of European Policy

Sean Bray is Director of European Policy at the Tax Foundation, where he researches international tax issues with a focus on tax policy in Europe.

Prior to joining the Tax Foundation, Sean Bray worked in the United States Senate on tech, telecom, and trade policy. He also interned at the European Parliament during Brexit and has experience establishing European chapters of a transatlantic think tank network based out of Yale.

Sean has a master’s degree in European Political and Governance Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, a master’s degree in International Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sean is fluent in French and tries his best to speak German at a B2 level. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and child.

Latest Work

Shrinking Revenue from Sin Taxes: A Small Price to Pay for Healthier Behaviour

Younger and healthier Brits have created a $17.1 billion budget hole by smoking and drinking less. Yet, despite this resounding piece of positive news, some see any decline in tax revenues as a public finance crisis. Excise taxes target a tax base that is intended to shrink. Less consumption is a stated goal of the policy.

3 min read
Von der Leyen Biden EU IRA & Competitiveness | Tax FoundationPresident von der Leyen President Biden Can’t Fix European Competitiveness clean tech and Inflation reduction act subsidies

Dear President von der Leyen: President Biden Can’t Fix European Competitiveness

Focusing on the “threat” to European industry caused by the Inflation Reduction Act rather than internal tax system flaws puts the EU at risk of slower economic growth and possibly losing some of its important industrial base. It is also contrary to the EU’s geopolitical goals.

4 min read
EU tax research The European Commission and the Taxation of the Digital Economy EU digital levy

EU Taxation: Prioritizing Geopolitics over Revenue

If the EU wants to strategically compete with economic powers like the United States or China, it needs principled, pro-growth tax policy that prioritizes efficient ways to raise revenue over geopolitical ambitions.

6 min read
2023 corporate tax rates in Europe compare corporate income tax rates in Europe Corporate tax rates Europe

Corporate Income Tax Rates in Europe, 2023

Taking into account central and subcentral taxes, Portugal has the highest corporate tax rate in Europe at 31.5 percent, followed by Germany and Italy at 29.8 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively

2 min read
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) US EU tax and trade policy why Congress should care about EU tax policy

In the Shadow of T-TIP: Why Congress Should Care About EU Tax and Trade Issues in 2023

The EU’s unilateral approach with carbon taxes, faster track on the global minimum tax, and threat of renewed efforts on DSTs means that U.S. policymakers face some hard choices. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic should keep in mind pro-growth tax and trade principles that promote a rules-based international order and increase opportunity.

7 min read
EU fiscal fairness economic fairness and tax fairness Testimony before the EU Parliament’s Subcommittee on Tax Matters Public hearing on “The impact of national tax reforms on the EU economy”

EU “Fiscal Fairness”

Europe is facing difficult times. Governments are balancing the need for more resources with the need to maintain peace and prosperity domestically. To properly strike this balance, EU policymakers must incorporate “Fiscal Fairness” into the debate.

2 min read
Comparing income tax systems in Europe best and worst personal income taxes Europe 2022

Comparing Europe’s Tax Systems: Individual Taxes

France’s individual income tax system is the least competitive among OECD countries. France’s top marginal tax rate of 45.9 percent is applied at 14.7 times the average national income. Additionally, a 9.7 surtax is applied to those at the upper end of the income distribution. Capital gains and dividends are both taxed at comparably high top rates of 34 percent.

2 min read
EU windfall profits tax EU energy security EU fossil fuel EU presidency European Union presidency including Czech presidency Europe council EU VAT Rates: EU VAT Directive & EU Reduced VAT Rates

Tax Files Under New Council of EU Presidency: Czechia

As the Czech EU presidency considers a plan to manage various tax-related files, it would be wise to consider principled tax policy that broadens the tax base and reduces the tax wedge on strategic investment.

4 min read
Carbon taxes in Europe 2022 carbon tax rates in Europe EU carbon tax

Carbon Taxes in Europe

In recent years, several countries have taken measures to reduce carbon emissions, including instituting environmental regulations, emissions trading systems, and carbon taxes. In 1990, Finland was the world’s first country to introduce a carbon tax.

3 min read
carbon tax research and analyis see carbon tax resources tax foundation

Russia’s Ukrainian War Could Impact EU Carbon Proposal Too

Given the uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine, future trade relations with Russia, and the overall CBAM revenue structure. The EU will need to adjust policy when challenges arise as it looks to increase its role in fiscal affairs through new own resources.

5 min read