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Our Taxes Need to Build Communities that Work for All of Us, Not Just a Privileged Few


Our country needs a tax system that is fair and allows us to pay for the things that build thriving communities.

By: Mary Kay Henry
Apr 12, 2019

Local 99 Standing Strong With Teachers

Our country needs a tax system that is fair and allows us to pay for the things that build thriving communities.

But today too many Black, brown, Asian and white working families get held back because of upside-down tax systems that ask the most from Americans with the least resources.

Because politicians at the state and local levels are giving out so many tax breaks to corporations and affluent people who don’t need them, SEIU members who work for state and local government often don’t have the resources to provide the services that communities need. Schools, roads, parks and libraries deteriorate.

Impractical, upside-down tax systems make it easier for the wealthy few to divide us against each other. When corporate lobbyists use their influence to win tax kickbacks for the rich, they take resources away from healthcare and education. Then they divide us by pointing fingers at public employees, Black people or new immigrants for our problems.

Bad jobs also put a massive strain on American families and communities. When profitable corporations like McDonald’s underpay workers, they force their employees to get support from public programs for food, housing and other things every family needs. More than half of the families of fast food workers need assistance from programs that we all pay for as taxpayers, costing Americans $152 billion per year.

That’s why SEIU members are calling on the people we elect at the local, state, and national level to rewrite the rules so that all working Americans—no matter where they work—are free to join together in unions. When people at McDonald’s and other profitable corporations can get a seat at the table to collectively negotiate for higher wages and better access to healthcare coverage, taxpayers won’t have to spend so much to support them. 

And, when more working people are united, we’ll be able to use our collective voting power to elect more leaders who will hold corporations accountable for paying their fair share of taxes. 

SEIU members are more committed than ever to working with everyone in our communities who want to join together across racial differences to fight for a fair tax system that allows us to pay for the foundations of thriving communities.