Tax Day 2021: A different date, the same important impact

Unless you’ve only been filing taxes the last two years (looking at you, recent college graduates), you’d understand that it’s odd to have a Tax Day falling in May (or July, as the case was last year). While Tax Day typically is April 15, the COVID-19 public health crisis has pushed it further into the year to allow taxpayers more time to file. The good news about this is that it’s allowed me to think up more (and possibly new) ways that taxes are amazing, enrich our lives and continue to be a privilege to pay.

TEN: Despite state tax codes tending to exacerbate racial disparities, policymakers can use the tax code to narrow racial income gaps by enacting progressive income taxes and making businesses and high-earning taxpayers pay their fair share.

NINE: The federal tax code includes tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), that serve to help encourage work and pull families, including children, out of poverty. President Joe Biden and Congress made some significant improvements to the federal EITC and CTC through the American Rescue Plan Act that they should now make permanent. And Michigan can build on this by increasing its state EITC.

EIGHT: Taxes pay for the infrastructure we use daily, ensuring that the roads we drive on are safe and that the water we drink is clean.

SEVEN: Taxes ensure that Michigan can build and maintain the necessary resources— high-quality education, healthcare and transportation systems—to attract business investments and allow them to thrive in a national and global economy.

SIX: Taxes allow us to invest in high-quality public education systems, pay for our teachers and create supports for our children’s social-emotional needs, helping educate our future leaders.

FIVE: Knowing that a postsecondary certification or college degree are growing more necessary in our expanding economy, taxes help provide financial aid for college students, making accessing a college education more affordable.

FOUR: Taxes help us enjoy quintessential Michigan summers “Up North” by keeping our amazing Great Lakes and inland lakes clean and providing upkeep for our local campgrounds.

THREE: Our neighborhood has an adorable little park, which was one of the main reasons why we chose our house. Taxes help pay for regular upkeep, such as grass getting mowed, mulch, snow removal in the winter and equipment upkeep to ensure that it is safe for our kids.

TWO: Taxes pay for all of the things that we don’t think about until they’re gone, like trash removal, recycling, sewers, drainage, mail delivery and secure elections.

ONE: And the number one reason why I find paying taxes so important: my son—and all of our kiddos. If we don’t pay taxes today, and don’t make the required investments in the programs we need and regularly rely on, the problems get passed on to our children, and our children’s children, and the solutions get more expensive.

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