The nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, and state tax systems have contributed to that concentration as wealthy individuals and corporations used their power to shape state tax policies to benefit themselves. But better state tax policies could help build a more broadly shared prosperity. As states seek to improve their tax systems, they should pay special attention to taxing the assets of the very wealthy — such as stocks and bonds, real estate, and personal possessions like boats, jewelry, cars, and artwork. Loopholes and special tax benefits shield many of these assets from federal, state, and local taxes.
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