The Tax Foundation is the oldest non-profit tax think tank in the country, founded in 1937. Its stated mission is "to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government." It also argues for a tax system characterized by "simplicity", "neutrality", "stability", "transparency" and "growth-promotion". Tax Foundation is an "associate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.
It was founded at the University Club in New York. Founding members included:
- Alfred P. Sloan, General Motors Corporation, chairman
- Donaldson Brown, General Motors Corporation financial vice president
- William S. Farish, Standard Oil Company, President
- Lewis H. Brown, President of the Johns-Manville Corporation
Its first chairman was Lewis H. Brown.
The Tax Foundation publishes studies on state on federal tax burdens, costs of tax compliance, and others like the impact of cigarette taxes on smuggling. The major public campaign of the Tax Foundation is its annual Tax Freedom Day, which calculates the total state and federal tax burden of the nation as a percentage of national income, and converts that into the portion of the year taxpayers must "work to pay taxes".
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
The Tax Foundation's President, Scott A. Hodge, participated in the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting, speaking on the "Corporate Taxes and International Competitiveness Panel" in front of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, and the Foundation's Vice President of Legal and State Projects, Joe Henchman, introduced the "Resolution Urging Congress to Cut the Federal Corporate Tax Rate" model policy at the same meeting.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.
Board of Directors
On its website the Tax Foundation lists its board of directors, as of March 2009, as being:
- Dr. Wayne Gable (Chairman), Koch Charitable Foundations
- James W. Lintott (Treasurer), Sterling Foundation Management LLC
- The Honorable Bill Archer, PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP
- Dr. R. Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School
- David P. Lewis, Eli Lilly and Company
- Scott A. Hodge (Secretary, Ex-Officio), Tax Foundation
- Julie Burden, Director of Development
2001 L Street NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 464-6200
Fax: (202) 464-6201
- GradingTheStates.org provides critical analysis of the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index and other "business rankings." Grading the States is a project of the Iowa Policy Project, overseen by economist Peter Fisher, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa.
- "About the Tax Foundation", accessed March 2009.
- State Policy Network, Directory, State Policy Network, 2016.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, "Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Meeting," agenda and meeting materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
- "Tax Foundation Board of Directors", Tax Foundation website, accessed March 2009.
For more information
- Scott A. Hodge, Celebrating Our 65th Year, Tax Features (Tax Foundation newsletter), September 2002