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|)0 *
 Lead with Common Good Values and
Objectives to set up tax conversations. You
need to start by answering the ͞why͟
question ʹ why are you talking about taxes
and the need for revenue? Tax conversations
must be framed by a values discussion about
the public good that is at stake to give
context to the need for revenue or reform.
|)0 *$

 rocus on Shared Priorities and Goals for the


ruture. Will taxes help maintain key public
structures upon which our community relies?
Will additional revenues allow your state to
shape its future? Assert the essential role that
public structures play in meeting shared goals
and objectives. Connect the dots between a
healthy, functioning community and the
underpinning role of well-supported public
systems and services.
|)0 *$

 se a pragmatic, practical tone stressing responsible


management. How do you describe the current
problems with the tax system? Is it an impractical way
to raise money? Does the system need to be more
balanced? Does it need to be modernized? Does the
current situation reveal weaknesses in the fiscal
system that need to be repaired and updated? Can
you talk about the need to make sure our public
revenue systems are adequate to address cyclical
economic challenges? Be careful that your tone does
not trigger a sense that this is merely a political or
partisan fight.
|)00 *
 Don͚t make it just about the money. When
our communications focus first on the taxes
themselves or the mechanisms for collecting
taxes, we trigger consumerist thinking ʹ
͞What͛s it going to cost me?͟
|)00 *$

 Don͛t make it just about taxing ͞them͟ ʹ the


rich and/or greedy corporations. Americans
believe deeply that wealth and success
should not be ͞punished͟ and that
government already places undue burdens
on business. Pragmatic arguments are
needed for why the corporations and the
wealthy need to contribute to the support
and maintenance of the public systems and
structures.
|)00 *$

 Don͛t rely on self-interest arguments ʹ ͞your


tax dollars bought you the services you use.͟
Average people consistently vote against
their own self interest. They support tax cuts
they will never receive and oppose tax
increases and reforms that would actually
benefit them. rocus instead on the common
interests and benefits that are gained.
|)00 *$

 Don͛t depend on ͞fairness͟ to make your


case. rairness is notoriously difficult to
define. This confusion makes is easy to revert
to the default view that all taxes are
inherently ͞unfair.͟
 Don͛t do our opposition͛s work for them.
Don͛t reinforce anti-tax frames: tax burden,
tax relief, tax holiday, hard-earned tax
dollars.
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rrom this͙ ͙to this.
 Let͛s be clear, there is no way out of this  The future of our state and communities is
mess without raising taxes V    directly connected to how we deal with the

The state needs more revenue to fill current economic downturn and the budget
its current budget hole u      shortfall it has created uV  


    
4 V V 
The budget crisis u 
   V
 Well-educated students, well-trained workers,
 

   is leaving a healthy environment and functioning
thousands of vulnerable families without infrastructure are the foundations of a strong
the services they need uV     economy uV  
   
       


 
 V
   V
  Now more than ever
 

and dedicated public workers we need our public systems and structures to
are being laid off in droves u  
V
  respond; to provide support and protection to
  O4 those hardest hit by the economic downturn;
Part of why we are in the mess is because and to pave the way for a robust recovery. This
greedy corporations and the rich are not is no time to dismantle the tools we need to
paying their fair share uV    move our state forward uV V


V    
   

   
 
 
    V
  4 It is time to shift     V   4
the tax burden to those who can afford to Oesponsibly addressing the budget shortfall
pay and give some relief to our hard requires a hard and balanced look at both how
working families u(       we spend money and how we bring it in
( V 

V
  Taxes need
to be part of the equation u