Passing the Buck: Race and the Role of State Lotteries in America’s Changing Tax Composition

GEO. J. L.&MOD. CRIT. RACE PERSP. Vol. 6:183

33 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2014

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Taxation represents a contested terrain for racial antagonism. During the 1970s and 1980s, white backlash against racially stigmatized government initiatives served as a mobilizing force that inspired taxpayer revolts throughout the country. These revolts culminated into numerous legal reforms that fundamentally altered America’s tax composition. Inevitably, these changes resulted in massive budgetary shortfalls and created optimal conditions for alternative ways to generate state income. Lotteries emerged as a politically feasible option for many state governments. Though politicians frequently based lottery adoption on the premise of providing additional funds to some designated public service, in reality, lotteries have displaced other sources of revenue like corporate, property, and income taxes. The sequence of this infrastructural redesign raises questions that remain largely unanswered. Namely, how do lotteries help redistribute tax liability?

Keywords: lotteries, taxation, racism, racial inequality, fiscal sociology

Suggested Citation

Henricks, Kasey, Passing the Buck: Race and the Role of State Lotteries in America’s Changing Tax Composition (2014). GEO. J. L.&MOD. CRIT. RACE PERSP. Vol. 6:183. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2504879

Kasey Henricks (Contact Author)

Loyola University of Chicago ( email )

820 N Michigan Ave
IL
United States

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