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Wealth and Taxes - 4/15/15

A prominent tax preparer exhorts us to, "Get your billions back, America!"  Writer Patricia Cohen argues that viewed from a particular perspective, we already do, even before we receive our tax refund checks.  According to an analysis of three hundred and forty billion dollars in tax subsidies for housing, education, retirement and savings in two thousand and thirteen, the top one percent of American households receive about ninety five billion dollars. 

According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development, that’s more than the ninety billion dollars received by the bottom eighty percent combined.  The Corporation for Enterprise Development is a nonprofit organization that strives to build assets for low and moderate income families.  The Congressional Budget Office released a report in twenty thirteen that also found that wealthier families benefit more from tax subsidies. 

That report analyzed the ten largest tax subsidies, including mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions as well as tax benefits for five twenty nine college savings plans, and found that they were worth a total of nine hundred billion dollars.  The report also determined that more than half of those subsidies went to households in the top fifth of the income scale.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.