Did You Love Your Taxes This Valentine’s Day?

by Anne Ryan, February 16, 2012

On Tuesday, while you were sending cards and flowers and expressing affection for your loved ones, you were also enjoying taxes.

You were walking on roads built by taxes and eating at restaurants monitored for cleanliness by taxes. And maybe your kids were going to a school supported by taxes. San Francisco City Hall, where San Franciscans sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” to Tony Bennett on Tuesday, was paid for by taxes. So here at CompassPoint and NonprofitsTalkingTaxes, we decided to send a little love to taxes with the “Love It, Fund It” campaign.

Over Facebook, Twitter, blogs and email, we asked nonprofit professionals like you, “What do you LOVE that is funded by taxes?” Responses were enthusiastic and creative. You can check out some of them below.

As people who work in nonprofits, public structures like these matter to our work as well as our daily lives. But shrinking budgets are hurting our communities: perhaps you have seen clients struggling, lost funding for a program, or struggle to raise funds for your organization. Nonprofits exist in the world to promote the common good and budget cuts make that harder at every turn. However, there is another way.

A healthy budget requires looking at revenues as well as cuts. In the past few decades in California, all our communities have seen cuts to things we depend on. But the time has come to say, “We love it, let’s fund it!”

Will you join in this effort? Our task is at once large and also very simple and fun: to create a conversation about the good things that taxes do in our communities. There is power in conversation. Before you can act, you have to know what you think. Before you can think, you have to have time to talk with others and explore ideas. Conversation is the first step to make California communities healthy and thriving again.

So take a look at the list of publicly funded services and structures below that nonprofit workers have said they love and want to keep funded. Ask yourself, which of these are meaningful to me? Ask your colleagues which ones they care about. Which ones do you think could be improved? You can even add your own to the list by commenting on this post below and tell California, “I love it, let’s fund it!”

  • State parks
  • Trees on streets
  • State beaches and the unspoiled coastline
  • Safe food in markets and restaurants
  • Schools
  • Support programs for English language learners in schools
  • Peace Corps
  • Bridges
  • Bike paths
  • Teachers
  • Firefighters
  • Programs that help working families buy food
  • Street lights
  • Buses
  • Building inspectors
  • Public libraries
  • Drinkable water
  • The Food and Drug Administration
  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • Affordable student loan programs

By Anne Ryan, Project Assistant

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