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Writing a check to the IRS should inspire pride, not loathing

LEON NEYFAKH wrote an important piece about the taxes we pay and what we get in return (“Taxes, a love story,” Ideas, April 7). Americans typically loathe paying taxes in part because we have little connection to what those dollars buy, and Neyfakh made the case for a government-led PR campaign to facilitate a sense of pride in paying taxes.

At least for tax day this year our government will be doing nothing of the kind, but the nonprofit sector has stepped in to fill the void. National Priorities Project is a Massachusetts-based, national organization committed to making federal spending transparent — including offering a personalized tax receipt to show how your taxes were spent.

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Accessing that information is an important step toward a stronger democracy, and the next step is engagement. Through our elected officials we have the opportunity to voice our priorities. When we feel ourselves to be active participants in shaping federal spending, writing a check each April will be less a burden than a contribution toward our shared future.

Mattea Kramer

Director of research

National Priorities Project


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