On April 15, Tax Day, volunteers conducted the annual Penny Poll in front of the Arcata, CA post office. A total of about 186 people took the time to vote by distributing ten pennies among ten containers labeled to represent major government programs. By choosing where they want their federal tax dollars to go, they can also inform the community about their priorities.
The graph of the Penny Poll votes by Humboldt County taxpayers looks like an inverted image of the federal government priorities. The federal budget allocates 55% of our discretionary budget tax dollars to the military, and a total of 18% to Education, Health, Environment, Housing and Social Services. Local people choose to give only 3% to the military and 78% of their taxes to those five programs.
The Penny Poll is carried out every year on tax day, in front of post offices across the country. While results do vary slightly from city to city, the Poll consistently shows broad consensus for a federal budget that addresses people’s basic needs rather than shoveling funds into the military industrial complex.
See photos here.