First Read: Paying Their Fair Share for Stronger Communities

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Thanks to a pandemic extension, it’s officially Tax Day in May.  As we filed our taxes, we started thinking about our upside-down tax code. It’s just not right that lower income families pay a larger share of taxes compared to multi-millionaires and billionaires. Regardless of our race, zip code, or income, we all work hard for our families and pay our taxes, which pay for services that all of us use like schools, parks, and roads. But not everyone is doing their part. Huge corporations, their highly paid lobbyists, and the extremely wealthy  have designed a tax system that ensures they pay less than everyone else while reaping the same, and sometimes even more, benefits. 

And the rest of us are stuck paying the price. Because multi-millionaires and billionaires don’t contribute fairly, the whole system is underfunded. That means our kids don’t have the resources they need to thrive in our schools. It means our critical social safety net programs are woefully underfunded. And it means that families are struggling to pay for basic necessities like health insurance.  

Paying taxes benefits everybody in our community. While corporations pad their bank accounts and pay $0 in taxes, our teachers are struggling to teach our kids in buildings that are falling apart because of lack of funding to fix them or build new ones. If we come together and demand a tax system that ensures everyone pays their fair share, we can create a community with excellent schools, robust social safety net programs, and affordable healthcare.

Virginia’s current system of protecting huge corporations and the ultra-wealthy prevents all of us from living in thriving communities. We need an economy that works for everyone in our community. The rest of us pay the price when large corporations and the wealthiest few don’t pay their fair share. By working together and eliminating loopholes and tax breaks that harm our community, we can lessen the burden on low-income families and support services that benefit all of us regardless of how much money is in our pockets. Let’s hope that by Tax Day next year, we will have made some progress.