The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Shannon Moriarty,, (617) 423-2148 ext. 108

Report: Invert State Tax Structures To Eliminate State Budget Deficits

United for a Fair Economy to Release Flip It to Fix It: An Immediate, Fair Solution to State Budget Shortfalls, Documents Current Regressive State Tax Structures


A new study has found that inverting state and local tax structures--whereby the highest income earners would be taxed at the current percentage of income for the lowest income earners and vice versa (so that taxes for the bottom 60 percent of households would be reduced or unchanged) -- would collectively raise $32.5 billion in new state and local revenue for Illinois (a 56.2 percent increase in public revenue), immediately eliminating state and local budget deficits and avoiding the serious consequences of budget cuts.

The report, titled "Flip It to Fix It: An Immediate, Fair Solution to State Budget Shortfalls" will be released on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Boston-based United for a Fair Economy. An embargoed summary of the key findings is available at

"Flip It to Fix It" attributes a large part of states' current deficits to the regressive tax structures that the report shows are designed to fail. "Trying to raise adequate revenue through a regressive tax structure--where a greater percent of income is demanded of the poor than the well-off--is like trying to squeeze water from a stone," said Karen Kraut, coordinator of state tax policy at United for a Fair Economy and co-author of the report.

"The inadequacy of regressive tax structures puts everything we value at risk: the wellbeing of families, the future competitiveness of the American workforce, and the nation's ability to rebound from the recession and prosper," said Kraut.

The report builds on the fact that most Americans believe that states tax systems are already equitable in the way that can be achieved by inverting state tax structures. The report contends that the inverted tax structure best spurs steady and strong economic activity.

The report--available for download at on Wednesday, May 25th--calls on states to adopt its proposed non-regressive tax reforms which are immediately achievable to eliminate most states' budget deficits.

An embargoed summary of the report is now available at The full report will be released on Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

The authors of the study and other state tax fairness advocates will be available for interviews starting Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Video testimonies will also be available at

United for a Fair Economy challenges the concentration of wealth and power that corrupts democracy, deepens the racial divide and tears communities apart. We use popular economics education, trainings, and creative communications to support social movements working for a resilient, sustainable and equitable economy. United for a Fair Economy believes another world is possible. We envision a global society which respects the humanity, rights, and creativity of all people.