TFOC Awarded Major Open Society Institute Planning Grant

Thanks to the generous support of The Open Society Institute, TFOC members will engage in a 6-month planning process to facilitate strategic reflection on how the Collaborative can most effectively grow to broaden and deepen its members' individual impact and the Collaborative's role as a player in the national political discourse on tax fairness and progressive policy organizing.

The Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative & OSI

UFE's tax program helps build a national constituency to restore progressive taxation as an important means of reversing the trend toward growing economic inequality.   We view the tax code as a tool for redistribution of income and wealth.   For the past 30 years, anti-tax forces have successfully "out-organized" those of us concerned with the common good.   They have eroded support for the public sector to such a degree that a majority of Americans have come to believe that government is an impediment to their quality of life.   Rallying behind cries of "it's your money," and "you can spend it more wisely than government," they have redistributed the nation's financial resources to the wealthiest among us through regressive changes in the tax code.   Their aggressive tax cutting at all levels of government has left public services sorely under-funded and unable to deliver adequate levels of service, reinforcing the notion that government is a poor investment.

For many years, there have been effective elements in the progressive movement's response to this neo-conservative, anti-government, anti-tax crusade. However, an important piece was missing. In 2004, UFE created the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative to fill this void: a national network of state level grassroots organizations educating and organizing for fair taxation in their states.

Currently the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative has 26 member organizations in 23 states. TFOC members have played a leading role preventing passage of anti-tax legislation and referenda in more conservative states, and pushing the envelope with new reforms/ideas in comparatively progressive states. They often work in collaboration with State Fiscal Analysis Initiative organizations, unions, human services advocates, faith groups, and other allies.

Over time we expect the TFOC to continue to grow into a powerful network that can advance progressive tax policy by changing public attitudes and galvanizing key constituencies about the essential links between grassroots political power, civic participation, government responsibility and accountability, and a vibrant commonwealth.

The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, was created in 1993 by investor and philanthropist George Soros. OSI aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform.

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