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Researching Taxation Policy

How much should the government tax? This highly contested issue has many sides. Grover Norquist and his pledge against raising taxes, has made recent news largely in response to the fiscal cliff and sequester crises. Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform organization believe that the government’s control over the American people should be minimized. Lowering and making taxes more visible would make this possible according to Americans for Tax Reform. The organization’s Tax Payer Protection Pledge was endorsed by President Reagan in 1986 and is offered to every candidate for state office and all incumbents. Signing the pledge commits legislators and candidates to opposing any increase in income taxes on individuals and businesses. Taxing income once at a low and flat rate is the most effective form of taxation according to Americans for Tax Reform.

Citizens for Tax Justice has a different view on taxation. This organization does not believe in tax cuts for the wealthy or corporate tax loopholes. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, there is a correlation between tax cuts for the wealthy and an increased federal deficit. The organization’s Tax Justice Blog publishes current findings and opinions and Reports by Date lists the latest reports regarding federal tax issues.

Unlike Americans for Tax Reform and Citizens for Tax Justice, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the University at Albany, does not advocate particular policies. Instead, the institute focuses on how well the government is doing its job. More effective government is the institute’s primary goal. The State and Local Finance section of the institute’s website provides information on a wide range of finance issues including taxation.

So what do you think about taxation? To better educate yourself there are many resources available at the University Libraries and online. Through the University Libraries databases, you have access to PAIS International/PAIS Archive and EconLit with Full Text. Both of these databases provide access to articles on economic literature. Readily available online are Tax Policy Center and National Taxpayers Union . Like Americans for Tax Reform and Citizens for Tax Justice, both sites have their own views on tax policies.
You may also want to check out these print materials available at the University Libraries:

Taxes in America: What everyone needs to know. Leonard E. Burman and Joel Slemrod. New York: Oxford University Press, c2013.
Dewey Library HJ 2381 B79 2013

Progressive consumption taxation: The X tax revisited. Robert Carroll, Alan D. Viard. Washington, D.C.: AEI Press, c2012.
University Library HJ 5715 U6 C28 2012

The real tax burden: More than dollars and cents. Alex M. Brill and Alan D. Viard. Washington, D.C.: AEI Press; Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Distributed by arrangement with the National Book Network, c2011.
Dewey Library HJ 2322 A3 B75 2011

The ideologies of taxation. Louis Eisenstein; foreword by David A. Weisbach. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010.
University Library HJ 2381 E35 2010

Tax policy and the economy
. Cambridge, MA: NBER and MIT Press Journals, 2008.
University Library HJ 10.3 T39 v.22(2008)

The permanent tax revolt: How the property tax transformed American politics
. Isaac William Martin. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, c2008.
University Library HJ 4120 M37 2008

Using taxes to reform health insurance: Pitfalls and promises
. Henry J. Aaron, Leonard E. Burman, editors. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, c2008.
Dewey Library HG 9383 U85 2008

The encyclopedia of taxation & tax policy. Edited by Joseph J. Cordes, Robert D. Ebel, and Jane G. Gravelle. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, c2005.
Dewey Library Reference HJ 2305 E53 2005

For more information on taxation, please contact our public administration and policy bibliographer Richard Irving. He can be reached by phone at 442-3698 or email [rirving@albany.edu].

Blog post created by Kathryn Farrell