Fact check: Kamala Harris cannot create property tax to pay for reparations
The Claim: Kamala Harris said it would impose a federal tax on homes to pay reparations
Since her election, misinformation about Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris has spread online. A social media post alleged Harris's views on reparations for slavery would result in a new tax.
"READY TO PAY STATE TAX FOR REPAIRS ON YOUR HOME !!, YES !!, KAMALA HARRIS SAID THAT !!" The Facebook post is.
The post creator did not respond to USA TODAY's request for comment.
More: Studying California, considering redress for black residents after landmark bill passes
Harris didn't say that, but she does support reparations in some form
In this context, “reparation” refers to the compensation of descendants of American slaves to descendants. The idea of reparation has been debated since the end of the Civil War, but mostly as an abstraction on the fringes of political thought, CNN reported.
The House Democrats have been introducing bills since 1989 calling for investigation into reparations proposals for black Americans, but those bills did not gain much popularity until recently. In 2019, another bill mandating the reparations study was tabled by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose writing started discussions about reparations in 2014, and actor Danny Glover reached out to Congress in 2019 to support the bill. She is also supported by Chuck Schumer, leader of the Sen. Minority.
"The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is still with us," Schumer told a small group of reporters in the US Capitol in 2019.
The heads of government expect the law to be passed this year.
During the president's main debates, reparations were sought for descendants of slaves, who have grown louder since George Floyd was killed in police custody in May. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden states on his campaign website that a Biden government would support the study.
There's no evidence Harris ever proposed putting a federal tax on homes to pay reparations. Still, to some extent she supports the idea of reparation.
In an interview with The Root in February 2019, Harris said that she believed that there should be some form of redress for black people, especially in dealing with residual trauma caused by slavery.
"You can't tell me that in a society everyone is the same unless everyone has the same path to success," she said. "... We will not be able to correct the course without serious intervention, and therefore we have to talk about what this intervention should look like."
Shortly thereafter, Harris seemed to go back on that statement in an interview with TheGrio's Natasha Alford, saying she supported the Lift Act, which would give a tax credit of up to $ 100,000 to all families regardless of race.
Senator Kamala Harris, D-CA, left, and Vice President Mike Pence.
In March 2019, she told NPR that reparations for black Americans suffering residual trauma might look like mental health treatment as opposed to financial reparations.
"I think the word, the term reparation, means different things to different people," she said. "But what I mean by that is that we need to examine the effects of generations of discrimination and institutional racism and determine what can be." in terms of the intervention done to correct the course. "
In August 2019, Harris reiterated that statement and suggested that the reparation investigation be conducted before taking action.
"This stuff needs to be studied," she told the Des Moine Register. "Because America needs a history lesson, to be honest, and we need to study it so that we can have a very full, fact-based conversation about guidelines and the relationship between those guidelines and harm when we go out to have a productive conversation It can't just be, "Hey ... write a few checks."
"When we talk about writing a check, I don't think it's that simple," Harris said. "And honestly, I don't endorse any idea or notion that after all of this we're going to say, 'Okay, I'll write you a check and then be quiet.' Because that won't solve the problem. These are the systemic problems that exist and continue to exist, whether you write a check or not. "
Fact Check: Harris did not say that Americans are unable to make their own decisions
Federal property tax is not an option
Even if Harris wanted to impose a property tax to pay reparations, she would not be able to do so.
The federal government is generally prohibited from collecting property taxes under Article I of the US Constitution, which states: "No capital or other direct tax will be charged unless it is in proportion to the census or enumeration this is ordered. " Property taxes are levied at the state and local levels, as US TODAY previously reported.
Fact Check: National property tax is not part of Joe Biden's plan
Our rating: wrong
Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, did not say she supported a federal tax on homes to fund slavery reparations, although she does support reparations to some extent. We rate this claim as FALSE as it was not supported by our research.
Our fact-checking sources:
CNN, Aug. 15, Six Questions About Reparation for Slavery Answered
3745 Commission to Investigate Reparation Proposals for the African Americans Act (1989-1990)
H.R. 40 - Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for the African American Law (2019-2020)
Wall Street Journal, July 26, Reparations to Black Americans for Slavery receive renewed attention
USA TODAY, June 19, 2019, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Danny Glover call for redress for slavery before Congress
USA TODAY, July 17, 2019, Poison of America: Slavery Restitution Bill endorsed by Senator Chuck Schumer
The Atlantic, June 2014, The case for reparations
Vox, June 19, 2019, The 2020 Democratic Primary Debate on Reparations, explained
The Guardian, June 20, calls for redress are growing louder. How is the US reacting?
Joe Biden's campaign website, LIFT EVERY VOICE: THE MANDATORY PLAN FOR BLACK AMERICA
The Root, updated Feb.26, 2019, exclusive: Kamala Harris calls for decriminalization of sex work, clearly calls Trump a racist and wants redress (sort of)
theGrio, February 24, 2019, #AskKamala: Does Kamala Harris support reparations for black Americans?
P.4 - LIFT (Livable Income for Families Today), Mittelstandsgesetz (2019-2020)
NPR, March 14, 2019, Senator Kamala Harris on reparations
The Des Moines Register, Aug 11, 2019, Kamala Harris on reparations for slavery: "It can't be easy," Hey ... write a couple of checks. "
USA TODAY, Sep 11, Fact Check: National property tax is not part of Joe Biden's plan
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Fact Check: Kamala Harris Cannot Collect Property Tax On Reparations
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