Citizens for Tax Justice, founded in 1979, is a 501 (c)(4) public interest research and advocacy organization focusing on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact upon our nation. CTJ's mission is to give ordinary people a greater voice in the development of tax laws. Against the armies of special interest lobbyists for corporations and the wealthy, CTJ fights for:
CTJ's studies on corporate tax avoidance, including 130 Reasons Why We Need Tax Reform (1986), Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Freeloaders (1985) and Money for Nothing: The Failure of Corporate Tax Incentives, 1981-1984 (1986) have been widely cited for their key role in the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986--path-breaking federal legislation that curbed tax shelters for corporations and the rich and cut taxes for poor and middle-income families. Indeed, The Washington Post called CTJ's reports a "key turning point" in the tax reform debate that "had the effect of touching a spark to kindling" and "helped to raise public ire against corporate tax evaders." The Wall Street Journal said that CTJ "helped propel the tax-overhaul effort," and the Associated Press reported that CTJ's studies "assured that something would be done . . . to make profitable companies pay their share." And in the wake of CTJ's agenda-setting role in the 1986 tax reform debate, the Washington Monthly ranked CTJ at the top of its list of America's "best public interest groups."
CTJ's studies on the impact of tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations have kept the issue alive in the debate over the federal budget deficit. CTJ's Inequality and the Federal Budget Deficit (1991) examined the linkage between tax cuts for the wealthy and the mounting federal deficit. This attention helped set the stage for President Clinton's 1993 budget act, which took back some of the tax cuts previously granted to the wealthiest Americans by the supply-side tax plan of 1981.
CTJ research has also been influential in the state tax arena. Who Pays: A Distributive Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States (1996) and CTJ's Guide to Fair State & Local Tax Policy (1993) have helped make tax fairness a central part of the tax debate in state capitols across the nation. Every year, CTJ staff testify before legislative committees nationwide in support of fairness and simplicity in tax policy.
Articles written by CTJ staff members frequently appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and other publications-- big and small--across the country. Through press, television and radio coverage, CTJ's message gets out--to the public and policymakers alike. Working with a growing network of labor, community and church groups from every part of the country, CTJ's goal is to make taxes a better deal for middle- and low-income American families.