An Equity Profile of the Houston-Galveston Region, Addendum

Overview

Houston-Galveston is characterized by overall economic strength and resilience, but wide racial gaps in income, health, and opportunity coupled with declining wages, a shrinking middle class, and rising inequality place the region’s economic success and future at risk. Our analysis showed the region already stands to gain a great deal from addressing racial inequities. If racial gaps in income had been closed in 2012, the regional economy would have been $243.3 billion stronger: a 54 percent increase. You can also download the full profile and summary.

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Building an Equitable Tax Code: A Primer for Advocates

Overview

In recent years a national discussion has been underway about the causes and effects of growing inequality, but one cause that has received little attention is the role of the U.S. tax code. The individual tax code contains more than $1 trillion in tax subsidies known to policymakers and economists as tax expenditures because, like spending programs, they provide financial assistance to support specific activities or groups of people. Of these subsidies, more than half a trillion, $540 billion, support some form of savings or investment (e.g., higher education, retirement, homeownership).

In theory, tax code–based public subsidies should help all families save and invest, but instead, wealthier households receive most of the benefits. In fact, a recent analysis of the largest wealth- building tax subsidies found that the top 1 percent of households received more benefits from these tax code–based subsidies than the bottom 80 percent combined.

The new brief answers key questions about tax expenditures: What are they, how do they work, and who benefits? In addition, since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not collect tax data by race, the primer uses data related to the distribution of benefits by income quintiles and the demographics of each quintile to provide a rough approximation of how different racial and ethnic groups do or do not benefit from the different categories of tax expenditures.

Equitable Growth Profile of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region

Overview

Omaha-Council Bluffs has a relatively strong and resilient regional economy, with overall low unemployment and steady job growth. At the same time, wages have stagnated for most workers and many communities of color face barriers to accessing good jobs, living wages, and the education needed for the jobs of the future. Increasing connections to good jobs, raising the floor for low-wage work, and building communities of opportunity metro-wide are key strategies to shift the region towards equitable growth. Download summary here.

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Equitable Growth Profile of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region (Summary)

Overview

Omaha-Council Bluffs has a relatively strong and resilient regional economy, with overall low unemployment and steady job growth. At the same time, wages have stagnated for most workers and many communities of color face barriers to accessing good jobs, living wages, and the education needed for the jobs of the future. Increasing connections to good jobs, raising the floor for low-wage work, and building communities of opportunity metro-wide are key strategies to shift the region towards equitable growth. Download the full profile.

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Equitable Growth Profile of the Piedmont Triad Region (Summary)

Overview

The Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina—covering 12 counties and home to the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point—is a growing region whose demographics are rapidly changing. Communities of color are driving growth, and have increased from 20 to 33 percent of the population since 1980. Ensuring its diverse residents can participate in the regional economy and contribute to stronger job growth and broadly shared prosperity is critical for the region’s future. Growing good jobs, investing in its workforce, and infusing economic inclusion into economic development and growth strategies are promising strategies. Download the profile.

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