Today is April 15th, the annual deadline to file income taxes. In the monotony of tax filing, it’s easy to forget that taxes have a purpose. In the simplest terms, taxes are the collective investment we make in our community that it would be impossible for an individual to make alone.
Without taxes, we wouldn’t have a transportation system of roads and highways equipped with speed limits and stop signs. We wouldn’t live in a country where every child is guaranteed a free basic education. We couldn’t be sure that a trained and equipped army is available to protect and defend our national interests.
On a federal level, the majority of our tax dollars go to Social Security, health care and national defense. On a state level, the majority of our tax dollars go to K-12 and higher education.
When you think about all the ways that taxes help make communities stronger, safer and better, there’s reason for us all to take pride in the investment we make today. As you race to the post office today to mail in that tax return, notice the paved roads, schools and parks along the way. All of these are possible because of taxes. And if that leaves you feeling like a proud taxpayer, consider humming this tune while you stand in the post office line. You might be there a while. In addition to being a nation of collective investors, we’re also a nation of procrastinators!