State budget and tax policies fail to create opportunities for people of color because they are poorly designed. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calls states and localities to action and urges them to do more in an effort to help undo the damaging legacies caused by continuing racial bias and discrimination.
Discriminatory public policies and racially prejudiced public and private actions of the past contributed to a historical context in which people of color were systematically held back. For much of our nation’s history, people of color had little to no power in state legislatures, and white lawmakers could set policies that sustained white dominance, even in states where people of color were a significant share or even a majority of the population. In that sort of environment, state and local tax policies often deepened the profound challenges that people of color faced, even when those tax policies were not explicitly race-based.