Tax Justice in 2019 and What’s Ahead in 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, December 20, 2019
Tax Justice in 2019 and What’s Ahead in 2020
Sunday, December 22, marks two years since President Donald Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, better known as the Trump Tax, into law. Since becoming law, this measure, which overwhelmingly benefits the 1 percent at the expense of everyday Americans, has had disastrous consequences for working families, small businesses, and our economy overall.
However, 2019 will go down as a turning point in the fight for tax justice. In past years, any tax increase, no matter who it affected, was considered taboo for politicians to discuss. Now, everyone from school teachers to Democratic presidential candidates are critiquing Trump’s reckless tax law and calling for significantly higher taxes on the rich.
This change didn’t happen overnight. It is the direct result of two dedicated years of grassroots mobilization and public education efforts led by a diverse coalition of concerned Americans better known as Tax March. Americans from all walks of life know that progressive taxation is a winning issue, and they are determined to fight for a more equitable economy and tax code.
Here’s everything Tax March has worked on to move the needle, and what you can expect from us in 2020.
Repeal the Trump Tax Tour, 2018
In January 2018, weeks after the Trump Tax was signed into law, Tax March embarked on a 100-day national tour to educate the American people on the effects of the Trump Tax and elevate the voices of Americans opposed to the law, which will ultimately raise taxes on more than 92 million middle-class Americans and is now threatening the health care of every American.
Over the course of the tour, we traveled to 45 cities in 26 states where leaders including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Ted Lieu, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander teamed up with activists, community leaders, and other local elected officials for grassroots actions, town halls, and rallies. The tour led up to a weekend of action on April 14-15, 2018, marking the one-year anniversary of the original Tax March.
Third Annual Tax March Organizer Conference, April 2019
Continuing with our dedication to educating others, in April of this year, we held our third annual Tax March Organizer Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference was attended by nearly 100 activists and organizers from across the country, representing more than 30 states. Presentations were given by academics and leaders from organizations such as the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Americans for Tax Fairness and the National Women’s Law Center to name a few.
Activists attended sessions on everything from gender and racial disparity in the tax code, to digital organizing, and why taxing the rich is an answer to the rigged economy. They took this knowledge and skills back to their communities where they were able to integrate a focus on the economy and the unjust tax code into their work organizing on various progressive issues.
Tax the Rich Campaign Launch + National Bus Tour, 2019
In the same month we held our conference, we pushed full-steam ahead in our fight for progressive taxation by launching the ‘Tax the Rich’ campaign. This seven-figure project, coordinated in partnership with more than a dozen progressive organizations, served to educate the American people and policymakers about taxing the rich, and to advocate for raising taxes on the country’s wealthiest individuals and most profitable corporations.
The campaign saw the launch of a new, robust Iowa state program known as Tax March Iowa headed by Sue Dinsdale from the Iowa Citizen Action Network, and the release of a national poll showing that 75 percent of Americans — including 70 percent of Independents, and even 60 percent of Republicans — support taxing the rich.
What’s more, in June we launched the Tax the Rich national bus tour, which traveled to 27 cities in 19 states to continue telling the truth about the Trump Tax and lift up the demands of local elected officials, activists, and national organizations that the rich and corporations pay their fair share. Taking place between the first two presidential primary debates, we were joined by national leaders such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Representative Ilhan Omar, Representative Rashida Tlaib, Representative Raul M. Grijalva and Representative Deb Haaland for a series of rallies and press conferences across the country.
Tax March Debate Tour, 2019
Following our momentum-building bus tour, we continued taking the tax conversation to the presidential debate stage. Ahead of the September Democratic presidential debate in Houston, we ran geo-targeted digital ads on Facebook and Twitter, sponsored a mobile digital billboard circling downtown Houston, and partnered with Progress Texas on a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle calling attention to the tax law’s “Opportunity Zones” program.
For the Ohio debates in October, we released a television ad and an open letter calling on CNN moderators to prioritize discussions of the Trump Tax and higher taxes on the rich on the debate stage. This resulted in the candidates having one of the most nuanced discussions on taxation to date.
And in November, Tax March projected “Tax the Rich” onto the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Atlanta to call attention to the city being ranked the worst in the nation when it comes to income inequality while most working- and middle-class Georgians saw their taxes increase because of the Trump Tax.
What’s next in 2020?
In 2019, “tax the rich” became the rallying cry of Americans who refuse to accept crooked laws like the Trump Tax as our status quo. Concerned citizens from Arizona to Pennsylvania stood up and said “enough” to our rigged economy, the loopholes in our tax code, and a class of millionaires and billionaires who build their wealth off the backs of hard-working Americans.
In the upcoming year, we anticipate even more Americans joining the fight for tax justice, and Tax March will be there to educate them on the ills of the Trump Tax and the need for the wealthy to pay their fair share and empower them to take action. Here are a few projects you can expect from us in 2020:
- Tax March will be hosting our fourth annual Tax March Organizer Conference in January in Louisville, KY, in partnership with other progressive groups;
- We will continue to call on debate moderators and presidential candidates to talk about the Trump Tax and taxing the rich; and
- A robust public education campaign that exposes the failures of the Trump Tax and explains how to unrig the tax code.
If you’re interested in discussing any of our past or upcoming projects, please contact us at [email protected].