Today We The People get to vote. Some of us get to vote on increasing our local taxes or not.
Mention the word “taxes” and most Americans will groan. But I, for one, am grateful for the privilege of paying taxes to my government.
- When I lived in Illinois my (very high) taxes paid for amazing community fairs and a top notch public library. I – a Southerner – had no qualms about driving in the winter because the roads were clear every day. The commuter trains were reliable and safe. The schools were and continue to be excellent.
- Now that I’m in North Carolina, I will happily vote today in favor of a quarter-cent increase in our sales tax to fund arts, parks, and education here in Charlotte. I believe it’s good for our city.
I have no children in the school system here but teachers deserve the supplements this tax increase would provide. I rarely use the parks and greenways but they are essential for community recreation. Although I don’t take full advantage of the cultural resources in this city, the arts edify all ages and income levels.
Paying taxes is patriotic. It means that we support what builds up our community and helps our neighbors as well as ourselves. Would you pay higher taxes if it meant that public school teachers were paid better salaries? Would you pay higher taxes if it meant that everybody got health care?
I hope your answer is a big yes.
We Americans are a flag-waving people – especially in regards to our veterans and our first responders. Our taxes make it possible for veterans to receive their pensions and healthcare. Our taxes make it possible for our police officers and firefighters to get better training.
The truth is also that our taxes pay for policies that perpetuate injustice and – again – this is why we vote. Voting expresses our desire to make changes – or not.
If we truly believe that God calls us to serve our neighbors I hope we will vote accordingly. It’s the faithful thing to do.
We are incredibly fortunate to be citizens of the United States, and I say this knowing full well that there are great and small injustices throughout our nation. We can do monumentally better. Unless we are cynical about the whole “liberty and justice for all” part of our national pledge of allegiance, we are all called to vote for leaders and policies that will serve our neighbors as well as ourselves.
Our allegiance is not to an institution. Our allegiance is to each other. We are the United States of America.
I hope you’ll vote today.
Image source here.