Boulder Ballot Issue 1B: Follow the money to the “Worthy Causes”

Update to: “Worthy Cause Tax”: It’s not Your Penny to Give.

In a letter published in the Boulder Daily Camera, Rich Miller writes:

Citizens for a Worthy Cause sent out a glossy mailing this past week, encouraging voters to approve Boulder County 1B.  Issue 1B will continue an existing sales tax and allow county commissioners to distribute our tax dollars to the charities of their choice. … And who are these Citizens for a Worthy Cause? No individual citizens contributed, only non-profits who stand to benefit from 1B at our expense.

Rich Miller has made an excellent insight. (Ralph Shnelvar has also noticed.)

Ten of the fifteen organizations that donated to Citizens for a Worthy Cause have received revenue from this sales tax.  These ten organizations have donated almost $27,000 to extend the tax this year, and have received more than $1.8 million in sales tax revenues from previous years.  I flush out the details below. (As Rich also did in his on-line comments.)

In a previous article I made the case that Ballot Initiative 1B, which would extend the “Worthy Cause” sales tax, “is immoral — regardless of how worthy the causes are.”  As a compulsory charity, “it is intolerant to people’s values and unfair to charities that must earn our donations. It undermines both the responsibility of donors and the accountability of non-profits that receive forced donations.” Those who voted for the measure could have raised the money in this year’s Worthy Cause Fund had they each donated $50.  Instead, they force us all to donate.

Colorado’s Secretary of State office lists the contributors to Citizens for a Worthy Cause here.  Boulder County lists the recipients of the tax revenues here.   What follows are the dollar figures for each organization, and links to where you can make a voluntary donation.

Attention, Inc.
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $1,000
Funding from sales tax: $60,000 (2006, via Attention Homes)
(Volunteer or donate )

Boulder County Advocates for Transitional Housing
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $1,000
Funding from sales tax: $550,000 (2008)
(make a voluntary donation)
Funding to their collaborating agencies:
(agency names linked to respective donation pages)

Boulder Day Nursery Association
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $5,000
Funding from sales tax: $25,000 (2007), $75,000 (2006), $45,000 (2005), $50,000 (2004)
(make a voluntary donation)

Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $5,000
Funding from sales tax: $235,000 (2008), $75,000 (2007)
(make a voluntary donation)

Center for People with Disabilities
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $2,000
Funding from sales tax: $25,000 (2006)
(make a voluntary donation)

Intercambio de Comunidades
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $250
Funding from sales tax: $175,000 (2007)
(make a voluntary donation)

Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder County
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $500
Funding from sales tax: $48,546 (2008), $50,000 (2007)
(make a voluntary donation)

Special Transit
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $10,0000
Funding from sales tax: $25,000 (2004)
(make a voluntary donation )

YWCA
Donation to sales tax ballot issue campaign: $2,000
Funding from sales tax: $75,000 (2006), $70,000 (2005), $100,000 (2004)
(make a voluntary donation)

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