Subsidies totaling over $1 trillion, known as "tax expenditures," are woven throughout the federal tax code. These tax expenditures provide federal subsidies that are targeted to specific industries and activities. Some of these tax expenditures (e.g., the home mortgage interest deduction) are well known and considered by most Americans as entitlements. Many tax expenditures are hidden from public view, however, buried in the complex morass of the federal tax code.
Unlike discretionary spending programs, most tax expenditures are not subject to annual budget scrutiny or performance review (such as cost-benefit analysis), and often provide disproportionate subsidies to upper-income Americans.
-Excerpt from Professor Katie Pratt's op-ed, "Show Me the Money: A Hidden Source of Funding for Federal Deficit Reduction," scheduled to appear in the Jan. 12 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal
Loyola Law School and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center are co-hosting a daylong exploration of tax-expenditure reform during "Starving the Hidden Beast: New Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform" to be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 at Loyola Law School's downtown L.A. campus. Speakers include Loyola Professors Ellen Aprill, Katie Pratt and Ted Seto, as well as tax law and policy experts from academia and think tanks such as the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Federal Budget Reform Initiative of the Pew Economic Policy Group and the Congressional Research Service. The panels will dissect a range of topics: "The Salience of Tax Expenditures and Implications for Reform," "Reforming the Tax Expenditure Budget Presentation," "Evaluating Tax Expenditures" and "Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform.
See the event website for complete details.