Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

Logo for organization (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,150,904
Expenses: $1,804,899
Assets: $880,733

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The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is a tax and budget policy advocacy group that focuses on state and federal tax policy issues. It holds 501(c)(3) status and is ostensibly non-partisan for tax reasons,1 though the left-of-center Pew Research Center has described ITEP as a “liberal think tank.” 2

Political Ideology

While self-described as politically neutral, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy was described as a “liberal think tank” by Pew Research Center. 3 The organization’s official Twitter account has posted and retweeted articles critical to President Trump’s tax policies. ITEP also posted a Salon article to their website alleging GOP donors to be the only class favorable to Trump’s tax cuts. 4

Microsimulation Tax Model

ITEP’s Microsimulation Tax Model is their rubric for tax analysis which includes a wide range of tax data from local, state, and federal levels. The program is designed to estimate tax implications based on proposed changes to tax policy. The same method of analysis is used by the U.S. Treasury Department, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Congressional Budget Office. 5


Alan Essig became the Executive Director of ITEP in April 2017. Prior to his current appointment Essig served as the executive director with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a left-of-center tax policy group associated with the labor-union-backed Economic Analysis and Research Network that he founded in 2004. 6 He holds a master’s degree in public administration from SUNY Albany and received a commendation from the Georgia State Senate for his contribution in a variety of legislative capacities related to budget and tax policy. 7 Upon his appointment in 2017 his salary was $106,731 with a supplemental compensation of $17,535. 8

Essig has involved himself in political narratives, notably by criticizing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump. 9 Essig has also retweeted many critical and even vulgar tweets about President Trump. 10111213

“Who Pays: A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All Fifty States”

“Who Pays” is ITEP’s flagship advocacy publication, produced in five editions since 1996. The report analyzes what is paid for and by whom per state, breaking down the results by class, jurisdictions, and other socioeconomic variables. The report also breaks down different topics pertinent to tax dialogue such as the variance between progressive, regressive, and proportional tax models. 14

In October 2018 the latest edition of “Who Pays” was challenged by the right-of-center Tax Foundation. The rebuttal claimed that ITEP failed to comprehensively identify who was paying state tax and that the report “is overwhelmingly a measure of the progressivity of the individual income tax, and not of the tax code as a whole.” 15


  1. “Mission & History.” Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Accessed December 11, 2019.
  2. Daniel C. Vock – “Immigration Overhaul Could Bring States, Localities $2 Billion a Year.” The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed December 11, 2019.
  3. Daniel C. Vock – “Immigration Overhaul Could Bring States, Localities $2 Billion a Year.” The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed December 11, 2019.
  4. Matthew Sheffield – “Salon: Everyone Hates Trump’s Godawful Tax Plan – Except the GOP Donor Class.” ITEP. Accessed December 11, 2019.
  5. Davis, Clark and Davis, Adrian Russell. “Comparing the Distributional Impact of Revenue Options in Alaska.” Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, April 2017.
  6. “News Release: ITEP and CTJ Boards Announce Alan Essig as New Executive Director.” Citizen for Tax Justice. Accessed December 11, 2019.
  7. “Georgia State Senate Resolution 598.” George State Senate Finance Committee, March 25, 2015.
  8. Tigas, Mike, Sisi Wei, Ken Schwencke, and Alec Glassford. “INSTITUTE ON TAXATION AND ECONOMIC POLICY – Form 990 for Period Ending Dec 2017 – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013.
  9. Essig, Alan. “Did You Catch the Huge Loophole in the GOP Tax Plan? The Rich Sure Did.” Fortune. Fortune, November 3, 2017.
  10. Miranda, Lin-Manuel. “Semiregular Reminder This President Is a Liar. Lies like It’s f***Ing Nothing. Https://” Twitter. Twitter, November 12, 2019.
  11. Eichenwald, Kurt. “‘Why Waste Time with an Impeachment Proceeding When the GOP Has to Spend Time Championing an Ethnic Cleansing of Our Ally Because Our God King Launched It.” You Care about Nothing but Money and Power. You Are Evil.@Jim_Jordan @LindseyGrahamSC @GOPLeader @Senatemajldr @GOP.” Twitter. Twitter, October 9, 2019.
  12. Harris, Kamala. “To Republican Elected Officials at All Levels of Government, There Is a Choice: Defend Trump or Defend the Country.” Twitter. Twitter, September 26, 2019.
  13. Clinton, Hillary. “The President of the United States Has Betrayed Our Country. That’s Not a Political Statement-It’s a Harsh Reality, and We Must Act. He Is a Clear and Present Danger to the Things That Keep Us Strong and Free. I Support Impeachment.” Twitter. Twitter, September 25, 2019.
  14. Meg Wiehe, Aidan Davis, Carl Davis, Matt Gardner, Lisa Christensen Gee, Dylan Grundman. “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems In All 50 States. 6th Edition” Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, October 2018.
  15. Walczak, Jared. “‘Who Pays?” Doesn’t Tell Us Much About Who Actually Pays State Taxes.” Tax Foundation, October 18, 2018.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1980

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,150,904 $1,804,899 $880,733 $57,389 N $1,150,767 $0 $137 $254,192 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,189,958 $1,755,581 $1,833,564 $356,225 N $1,189,835 $0 $123 $126,792 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,431,747 $2,080,073 $2,518,498 $474,558 N $3,428,820 $0 $2,927 $124,798 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,589,802 $1,392,085 $692,266 $0 N $1,587,904 $0 $1,898 $135,006 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,329,360 $1,266,226 $494,549 $0 N $1,327,679 $0 $1,681 $122,695 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,102,233 $1,211,586 $431,415 $0 N $1,102,099 $0 $134 $122,580 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,048,110 $1,231,405 $540,768 $0 N $1,048,072 $0 $38 $102,002 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $1,027,083 $1,206,019 $748,164 $23,059 N $1,026,382 $0 $701 $171,630 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

    1616 P STREET NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-1434