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
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
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