House Democrat Suggests African Americans Shouldn’t Pay Taxes

( Democratic US Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett floated the idea of tax exemptions for black Americans as a type of reparations, during an April 9 episode of the Black Lawyers Podcast. Crockett said that such a measure could put money back in the pockets of black Americans.

Crockett represents Texas’ 30th congressional district, where the plurality of constituents are black. Crockett began representing the district, one of the most Democratic-leaning in Texas, in 2023.

Exempting black Americans from paying taxes is “not necessarily a bad idea,” Crockett said. Such a reparations measure may not be as objectionable as direct cash payments, Crockett added.

However, Crockett noted that the plan could be complicated by the fact that many people in the community are not paying taxes in the first place. Crockett also argued that any reparations policy must be consistent between states, lest black Americans flock to states offering more reparations.

Moreover, Crockett said that the United States should only provide reparations to descendants of slaves, not all black Americans.

Crockett’s statement came in advance of the 2024 tax filing deadline of April 15. A majority of Americans—not just black Americans—believe that they pay too much in taxes.

More than two-thirds of Americans, 67%, believe they pay too much in federal income tax, according to a poll released in January. A majority of Americans, 62%, believe that their state sales tax is too high and 69% believe their local property tax is too high as well, the poll found.

Less than one-quarter of Americans believe they receive good value from paying their taxes, the poll also found. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe that their taxes are unfair, the poll report said.

It is unclear whether there are racial differences in attitudes towards taxation, although it appears like most Americans, black or white, would enjoy a chance to pay less in taxes. Nevertheless, it seems Crockett would rather limit a tax exemption to black descendants of slaves, despite many people from all around the world having roots traceable to slaves at one point or another.

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