Taxing the Poor: Doing Damage to the Truly Disadvantaged

On June 1, 2011, JOTF, the Baltimore CASH Campaign, and the Maryland CASH Campaign co-hosted “Taxing the Poor: Doing Damage to the Truly Disadvantaged,” a forum featuring Dr. Katherine S. Newman, James B. Knapp Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. 


Dr. Newman, a widely published expert on poverty and the working poor, spoke about her recently-published book, which looks at the way we tax the poor in the United States, particularly in the American South, where poor families are often subject to income taxes, and where regressive sales taxes apply even to food for home consumption.  Newman argued that these policies contribute in unrecognized ways to poverty-related problems like obesity, early mortality, high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy and rime.  Taxing the Poor demonstrates how sales taxes intended to replace the missing revenue actually punish the poor and exacerbate the very conditions that drove them into poverty in the first place. 


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