The Importance of High-Quality Tax Research: Please Help Support the Tax Foundation

October 29, 2010

With the upcoming elections and questions about the impending expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, it’s more important than ever for voters and taxpayers to understand what’s at stake in tax policy.

Our recent work addresses many issues that voters across the country are thinking about as Election Day draws near, and which they will continue to ponder as Dec. 31—and the possible expiration of the tax cuts—approaches. Our new edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index, for example, not only serves as a guide to policymakers trying to make their states friendlier to business investment; it also helps taxpayers and voters understand how decisions made by their elected officials shape their state’s business climate.

In addition, our extensive work on the expiring tax cuts helps voters, media, and elected officials understand the consequences of the different actions Congress and Pres. Obama could take. Our studies and data demonstrate how certain tax law changes would affect different groups of taxpayers; an interactive calculator even lets users figure out how much their own tax burdens could change in 2011. This calculator has been used over 275,000 times and will no doubt be increasingly popular as Dec. 31 approaches.

Three other interactive tools let website visitors find the specific data they need: One shows how many people and how much income moves from state to state each year (users select the states and years); one allows homeowners to see how property tax bills in their area stack up against other areas across the U.S.; and one lets users calculate how much a VAT (value-added tax-a hot tax issue right now) would cost them and their family.

Even with these intricate calculators created by our scholars, some of our most popular materials are short, concise blog posts. Thousands of website visitors recently read a post titled “Would “ObamaCare” (Health Care Reform) Tax the Sale of Your Home? Probably Not,” which cleared up many readers’ confusion on this issue. Making confusing, complex tax policies easy to understand and evaluate is our mission, not only during election season or tax-cut-expiration season, but throughout the year.

In order to continue this mission, we must rely on help from the concerned individuals who read our studies, use our calculators, listen to our podcasts, and download our data. Without your generous support, this work would not be possible. Please take a moment to make a donation that will enable us to produce more high-quality research long after the elections are over. Thank you!


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