FACT CHECK: Did Kamala Harris Propose A Federal Tax On Homes To Pay For Reparations?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared over 600 times claims Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris proposed a federal tax on homes to pay for slavery reparations.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Harris has proposed such a measure. A spokeswoman for Harris’ office confirmed the claim is inaccurate.

Fact Check: 

Since Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose Harris as his running mate, misinformation about her policy stances has circulated widely on social media, with this particular post alleging she has backed a federal tax on homes to pay for reparations. There have been debates about compensating the descendants of enslaved black people in the U.S. since the end of the Civil War, and they have gained momentum in recent years, according to CNN.

There is, however, no evidence Harris has proposed a tax on homes to pay for reparations. Check Your Fact found no proposal to that effect from Harris on her Senate website, in public statements or in the congressional record. A search of her verified social media pages also didn’t turn up any instances of her calling for a federal tax on homes to pay for reparations.

Harris told the Des Moines Register that she supports studying reparations in August 2019. (RELATED: Will Joe Biden’s Tax Plan Raise The Income Tax Rates For Families Making $75,000 From 12% To 25%?)

“If we’re talking about writing a check, I don’t think it is that simple,” she said. “And frankly, I don’t support an idea or notion that after all this, we’re going to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to write you a check, and then be quiet.’ Because that won’t solve the problem, which is systemic issues that are present and will continue to exist, whether or not you write a check.”

In a February 2019 interview with The Root, she said, “I think there has to be some form of reparations, and we can discuss what that is.” She said in an interview with TheGrio the same month that she supports the LIFT Act, which would provide a tax credit to families – regardless of race – making $100,000 or less. Harris has also discussed the possibility of mental health funding as a form of reparations, per NPR.

“I think that the word, the term reparations, it means different things to different people,” Harris told NPR in March 2019. “But what I mean by it is that we need to study the effects of generations of discrimination and institutional racism and determine what can be done, in terms of intervention, to correct course.”

Meaghan Lynch, a spokeswoman for Harris’ Senate office, confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email that the California senator has not proposed a federal tax on homes to pay reparations.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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