When it comes to communication and engagement, every issue has its own unique set of opportunities and obstacles.

The Problem

Advocates and reformers need stories and concepts that can compete with average Americans’ default view that taxes are already too high, unfairly burdensome to them, and mostly wasted by politicians. People easily forget that taxes are not just money taken away from them, but represent a critical shared investment in their lives and communities. Complicating matters, a great deal of discourse about taxation and tax reform takes place at the state level, which presents distinct and diverse challenges for advocacy.

The Solution

Topos research efforts have identified communications approaches that lead to greater support for progressive tax reform and increases to revenue streams that are crucial to so many important policy goals. Key to the strategy are two linked ideas: that a strong and prosperous society is built on foundations paid for with taxes, and that tax codes manipulated by the powerful give us less revenue to invest in our communities.

Topos research on Revenue and Budgets has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Stoneman Family Foundation, the Brico Fund, the Gill Foundation, and anonymous donors.

Flawed Tax System
In states like Alabama with a highly regressive tax system, it helps to explain how an “upside down,” tax code ends up harming the state.