Tax Foundation

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The Tax Foundation is the oldest non-profit tax think tank in the country, founded in 1937. Its stated mission is "to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government." It also argues for a tax system characterized by "simplicity", "neutrality", "stability", "transparency" and "growth-promotion".[1] Tax Foundation is an "associate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.[2]

It was founded at the University Club in New York. Founding members included:

Its first chairman was Lewis H. Brown.

The Tax Foundation publishes studies on state on federal tax burdens, costs of tax compliance, and others like the impact of cigarette taxes on smuggling. The major public campaign of the Tax Foundation is its annual Tax Freedom Day, which calculates the total state and federal tax burden of the nation as a percentage of national income, and converts that into the portion of the year taxpayers must "work to pay taxes".

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Tax Foundation's President, Scott A. Hodge, participated in the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting, speaking on the "Corporate Taxes and International Competitiveness Panel" in front of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, and the Foundation's Vice President of Legal and State Projects, Joe Henchman, introduced the "Resolution Urging Congress to Cut the Federal Corporate Tax Rate" model policy at the same meeting.[3]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.


The Tax Foundation is funded by private donations from members, corporate donations, and donations from charitable foundation such as the Koch Foundation, Earhart Foundation, etc.


Board of Directors

On its website the Tax Foundation lists its board of directors, as of March 2009, as being:[4]


Former personnel

Contact Details

Tax Foundation
2001 L Street NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 464-6200
Fax: (202) 464-6201

External Resources

  • provides critical analysis of the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index and other "business rankings." Grading the States is a project of the Iowa Policy Project, overseen by economist Peter Fisher, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa.


  1. "About the Tax Foundation", accessed March 2009.
  2. State Policy Network, Directory, State Policy Network, 2016.
  3. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Meeting," agenda and meeting materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
  4. "Tax Foundation Board of Directors", Tax Foundation website, accessed March 2009.

For more information