Parkway Organizations & Taxes

An article in the Sacramento Bee today, “American River Parkway advocates ask Sacramento County for more money”, found on the Bee website at http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article9769403.html reports that some local Parkway groups are asking for tax money to fulfill their mission and we want to make clear that our organization is not among those asking for government funding.

Our position on nonprofit funding is that if the mission is of a limited community interest the nonprofit needs to develop community funding from those interested rather than asking the entire community—through taxing—to pay for their work.

Folks are already over-taxed as it is and we do not want to be responsible for adding to that burden.

There are of course exceptions.

It is entirely appropriate, of course, that the Parkway itself be supported with tax money from the general public as it is open for use by the general public.

However, those of us who advocate for the Parkway, regardless of the importance we attach to our work, need to realize that it is only of benefit to those who support the specific content of our advocacy.

In our case, we call for several specific policies, including that the Parkway be managed by a nonprofit organization to increase the level of funding through philanthropy and provide more dedicated daily management and we anticipate that folks who agree with us will support us if they want, but we will never ask for funding from government because we recognize the limited community interest our work represents.

That being said, we appreciate the work done by all of the Parkway advocacy groups, (for disclosure, I once served as president of the board for the American River Natural History Association) and realize the wonderful work they do as well as that of the other Parkway organizations.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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