Taxpayer Pride: Why Paying Taxes is the Best

Okay, I’ll admit it.  Every March when I sit down to do my taxes, there’s a thirty-second window when I think about the other things I could do with the money that I pay in state and federal taxes.

Then I come back to reality and remember what an incredibly good deal I’m getting when I pay my taxes.  Each and every day, I benefit from the taxes I pay.

  • I received a top-notch undergraduate education at the College of William and Mary, a public university.
  • I take public transportation every day, which receives local and federal funding.
  • I’m able to attend law school because of the student loans I receive from the federal government.
  • I live in Washington, DC, so I’m able to regularly visit our national monuments and the wonderful Smithsonian museums for free—this is thanks to the federal funding they receive.


But beyond the tangible, everyday benefits I receive from my tax dollars, I am proud to pay my taxes because of the work our government does to improve our local communities and to make our world a better place.  By leveraging the money they receive from taxpayers, federal, state, and local governments are able to provide important resources, offer critical services, and engage in essential work.

  • My local community is a better place because my tax dollars help fund things like public libraries, public parks, and community health centers.
  • As a volunteer tax-preparer, I work with low-income families and know how important government programs are in providing these families with a safety net—whether it be TANF benefits, subsidized housing, or health insurance subsidies.
  • I’m an animal lover and wildlife conservation is a really important issue to me. I’m glad to know my tax dollars are supporting wildlife conservation efforts under the Endangered Species Act.

These things are just the tip of the iceberg—there are so many other tax-funded programs that enrich our lives and communities.  So, while I might briefly fantasize about a shopping spree, spa day, or beach vacation, the reality is that I’d rather pay my taxes because the return on investment can’t be matched.  In fact, by the time I finish with my taxes I feel like doing this: