Position Statement — Taxes

When developing tax policies, there must be a basic recognition that all levels of government have an obligation to finance services throughout the lives of people who have developmental disabilities, using a fair and equitable tax system. The Arc Minnesota believes that a fair and equitable tax system:

  • Favors progressive taxes — tax rates must be based on the individual’s ability to pay.
  • Shifts funding for services affecting people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities from the local property tax to a statewide tax to ensure equity of services throughout the state.
  • Prevents cost shifting from the federal and state governments to local units of government. In order to ensure a minimal standard of service availability across the country and to fulfill its historical obligations, the federal government must remain a taxing entity for services to people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Values the inclusion of people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities and their families in decision-making processes, including the promotion of self-determination.
  • Recognizes that families who have children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living at home have made significant economic and financial contributions that have kept the state from paying for more expensive services in more restrictive settings.
  • Ensures that, during times of budget surpluses and deficits, essential services are maintained or improved and funds are made available to address the unmet needs of persons who have intellectual and related developmental disabilities and their families.

 

Issue

Many services and supports accessed by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families are funded with taxes raised by federal, state, and local governments.

At times, policymakers have invested in tax cuts that reduced or eliminated access to, and compromised quality of, services and supports for individuals with IDD and their families. This led to increased reliance on more expensive and often restrictive interventions and services, and drove up costs to the state and Minnesota taxpayers.

Position

Taxpayer contributions to the state budget – which fund Education, Health and Human Services, and other critical programs and services – are a vital component of the supports that help individuals with IDD and their families thrive in their communities.

The Arc Minnesota believes that a fair and equitable tax system:

  • must be based on the individual’s ability to pay;
  • does not shift costs from federal and state governments to local units of government;
  • allows investment in, and ensures equity of, services and supports to individuals throughout the state.

Tax policies at all levels of government must not eliminate, restrict, nor reduce investment in programs and services for people with IDD. During times of budget surpluses and deficits, access to essential supports for individuals with IDD and their families must be maintained.

 

This statement was approved by the Delegate Body at The Arc Minnesota Annual Business Meeting on October 28, 2007.

Revised Statement Drafted by The Arc Minnesota Position Statements Task Force, June 18, 2013.

Revised Statement Is Again Edited and Then Approved by The Arc Minnesota Position Statements Task Force, June 22, 2013.

This statement was approved by The Arc Minnesota Public Policy Committee on August 21, 2013.

This statement was approved by The Arc Minnesota Board of Directors on September 23, 2013.

This statement was approved by delegates at The Arc Minnesota Annual Business Meeting, November 2, 2013.

This statement was revised by The Arc Minnesota Position Statement Work Group on October 2, 2019.

This statement was approved by The Arc Minnesota Public Policy Committee on October 28, 2019.