The County asks for donations?

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Should the County include a donation envelope with the tax bill?

Yes, they really need the money.
No, the county already has a great fund development tool. Its called taxes.
Total votes: 13

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The County asks for donations?

Postby Suoiragerg » Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:15 pm

I realize times are tight but should the county be asking for donations? In today�s Cap Times is an article discussing whether Dane County should include a donation envelope in its tax bills. This raises a number of questions.

Why is the county asking for donations when it has taxing authority?

Would you donate to your local county if they say pretty please?

Are these donations actually for the nonprofits that have county contracts?

And if so, shouldn't they be doing their own fund raising?

It seems like it would create an uneven playing field among nonprofits to have some included in a County sponsored solicitation for funds while nonprofits that do not have county contracts don't get the free publicity, free mailing, free mailing list, free fund management, or the assurances that their mailing gets read that goes with including it in the tax bill.

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Postby Chuck_Schick » Tue Oct 19, 2004 3:57 pm

All I can say is they better bank more in donations than they spend on envelopes if this idea flies.

20 to 1 says they don't.

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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:07 pm

If they do it, they should give larger envelopes to rich people. And make them say that the money is going towards rescuing cryogenically frozen embryos from stem cell research.

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Postby Nick Berigan » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:31 pm

To clarify. Today's article could be taken to show that sos-dane supports this concept. That is a misperception on the part of the journalist who had a BUNCH of emails that were copies of correspondence from constituents that indicated they preferred that the county raise their own TAXES $20 to adequately fund human services. That, to repeat, is the thrust of what sos-dane has in mind; raising taxes on the average $200K home by $20 to fund human services. The checkoff thing is somebody else's gig and presents, as Dave Gawenda pointed out at the hearing, a set of significant logistical problems.

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Postby Andy Olsen » Wed Oct 20, 2004 8:36 am

I'm not inclined to support this. There are the logisticial problems, but it also implies that the cost of supporting legitimate government functions should be voluntary. Everyone benefits (to one degree or another), and everyone should share the cost.

My objections here are quite similar to my problems with "green pricing" fro renewable energy (even though I do pony up for that). It's like a tax on people with a conscience.

Otherwise, this has the feel of pulling on a loose thread. Seems innocent enough at first....

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Postby burstingsun » Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:36 am

Thank you, Andy. Hopefully, others on the board feel the same way. Our county puts an emphasis on strong community services, and all of us should flit the bill. By making voluntary donations an option instead of making these priorities part of the budget, the board would be sending a clear message regarding a change in priorities. Admittedly, I dread getting my tax bill every year, but then I look around and see what I'm getting for my money. When I see important services in place and working effectively, that bill is much less painful and I'm willing to pay a little extra. After all, we get what we pay for.

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Postby Mike S. » Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:17 am

The details are crucial here. The county could match what the IRS does, and put a little notice somewhere in the instructions for the tax form that if you want you can make a gift to the government by doing thus-and-so. This wouldn't cost anything (so long as it doesn't add a page to the form) and wouldn't give people the feeling that there are commissioners out banging their tambourines on State Street.

Why anyone would want to give is another question... but after all, there are crazy old people with more money than brains who, left to their own devices, would donate to air-condition doghouses and create no-kill shelters for pet pigs. This could look like a saner option to them :!:

On the other hand, if it is earmarked to certain budget items, then like lottery winnings it becomes a sneaky way to make unpopular spending changes "involuntarily". Ooooh, more people gave last year, so we can save money with a compensatory decrease in human services spending. Ooops, fewer people gave this year, so I guess human services will just have to make do with less. Rinse and repeat as needed.

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Postby Michael B Jacob » Fri Oct 22, 2004 1:11 pm

Statement re: Wiggy's gimmick from SOS-Dane

SOS Dane Opposes ââ?¬Å?Donationââ?¬? Proposal To Fund Human Services

Supervisor Dave Wiganowsky has proposed the County encourage Dane County taxpayers to donate additional funds to support human services. His proposal comes as an alternative to a modest increase in the tax levy. SOS-Dane does not support this proposal.

Some supervisors who support the ââ?¬Å?donationââ?¬? proposal have cited SOS-Daneââ?¬â?¢s polling information as proof of support for ââ?¬Å?donation.ââ?¬? In fact, our polling data shows no such thing; the polling shows strong support for a modest property tax increase for human services

SOS-Daneââ?‰?¢s scientific, statistically-significant polling demonstrates what weââ?‰?¢ve always known about our friends and neighbors in Dane County. When they see a community need they expect a community responseââ?‰?Â

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Postby shyguy » Sun Oct 24, 2004 11:30 am

There's plenty of reason to beat up on Wiggy and his pals for various things, but you know, I find it hard to swallow the "gimmick" rhetoric. Every now and then he might have a half-way worthwhile idea.

The budget subcommittee created and appointed by Health and Human Needs committee chair Supervisor Beth Gross, who seems to be a member/supporter of SOS-Dane, which included John Hendrick and Dave Worzala and Al Matano, included the donation idea in its list of possible solutions to the continued short-funding of human services by the county. So, it isn't just Wiggy who's suggesting this.

I don't disagree with SOS-Dane's general point of view. Count me among those who would rather pay another fifty cents or dollar per week in property taxes in order to properly fund county government - not just human services, but public safety and parks operations and transit and more. I think the "donation" idea has lots of practical problems. But Wiggie's not the bad guy here for trying to come up with something.

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Postby Nick Berigan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:50 pm

County board supervisors more than the usual emails regarding this issue. Every one I was copied on noted the need to add $20 to the property tax for this matter. As that is not currenlty on the "to do" list for Mr. Wiganowsky, and as he references those communications in regards to folks wanting to "donate" $20, it is important that SOS Dane not let these guys misrepresent what their constituents told them.

All these are quite aware of what the practical obstacles are to implementing this. If they aren't, they should educate themselves by calling the county treasurer and reviewing his testimony at the HHN committee.

Ms Gross is charged as a committee chair with listening to all the ideas presented and allowing ideas to develop that might help deal with a very bad inadequate situation. She's doing a great job running the committee and listing the diverse inputs.

It is not up to her to organize the political will to increase revenues. The non-elected contingent of SOS Dane (Mitch, myself, the folks from CU, the folks from the DD coalitions, PD, the anti and pro casino proponents, etc) are telling you that this is a distraction from the need.

In short, bake sales are not going to cut it.

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