How can philanthropy—funders focused on equity and those focused on economic mobility—work together to promote more inclusive and equitable tax policies that help build prosperity for all?
Please join the EITC Funders Network, Philanthropy Northwest, and Puget Sound Asset Funders Network on June 11 for a timely funder conversation exploring the landscape of tax policy and structures in the Pacific Northwest and the opportunities to create pathways to racial equity and economic opportunity.
The vast majority of state and local tax structures are regressive, asking the most of those with the least, and contributing to growing income and wealth inequality. Moreover, due to a long history of discriminatory economic and social policies and practices, these tax systems play a role in deepening existing racial inequities.
States in the Pacific Northwest are no exception and, in fact, Washington state's tax code is the most regressive in the nation. Relying mostly on property and sales taxes to fund the state budget places a disproportionate share of the responsibility on people with low and middle incomes, making it harder for many to afford basic needs. Moreover, current policies are steeped in a racially biased history designed to exclude people of color from economic opportunity. Certain tax policies such as the sales taxes have a long racially biased history intended to shift the tax base away from, then mostly white property owners to consumers increasing taxes on Black households that had little else to tax. The result then and now affects who has access to and funding levels of wealth building opportunities from quality education, health care, housing, and much more.
This gathering for regional and national funders will provide an overview of state tax structures and reform proposals in the Pacific Northwest and will showcase promising and powerful examples of tax credit successes and strategies that build economic opportunity from an equity framework. The meeting will discuss the role funders can play, in their internal and external efforts, to support racial equity and economic security and offer interactive engagement opportunities to identify common interests and foster collaboration.
**This meeting is free of charge and open to foundation representatives and philanthropic advisors only.
Contact Elyse Gordon, senior program manager, if you would like any additional information.