A few years ago, Kim Klein, the guru of grassroots fundraising began to beat a drum calling nonprofit leaders to a tax agenda. As they always do with Kim, people listened intently, but I wonder if many of those whose heads were nodding in the audiences she addressed really became involved in examining and trying to reform the tax structures in their states.
And now many of us are faced head-on with the issue of how our states and our nation taxes and spends in a much more immediate way.
Yesterday I got a note from a reader in Arkansas about the budget situation there. Bill Kopsky of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel wrote “Arkansas taxes poor folks almost twice the rate we tax wealthy people, one of the most regressive systems in the country. During the last budget shortfall and during the Lakeview school reform effort the state raised additional revenue by increasing the sales tax-the most regressive tax we have. There are other options for raising revenue that would be far more fair to working families: closing corporate tax loopholes, rolling back recent corporate tax cuts on income taxes and capital gains taxes, and reducing the number of businesses that are exempt from the sales tax that the rest of us pay (the list of exemptions for special interests is huge).”
He goes on to express concern about the health, environmental, anti-poverty and education programs that might be put at risk if revenues continue to drop.
We asked Bill if we could use his note as one of our daily Newswires and he graciously agreed but we wanted to call your attention to it in a more emphatic way.
Most states in the country are facing a grim 2010 budget year. Now is the time to look more thoroughly at our tax structures and call public attention to reform proposals. If not now when?
And finally, please feel free to shoot us stories for the Newswire from your own state or the field that you work in. Our daily Nonprofit Newswire is an important part of how we try to keep you abreast of instructive or important developments in and around nonprofits (no self promotion please).