ELKHART, IN: "PENNY POLL" AT INDIANA POST OFFICE ON TAX DOLLARS

CPTnet
April 15, 1999
ELKHART, IN: "PENNY POLL" AT INDIANA POST OFFICE ON TAX DOLLARS

 

On April 15, five hundred taxpayers at Elkhart's main post office voted for
how they wanted their tax dollars spent by the federal government. Each
passerby was given ten pennies to distribute among seven jars labeled with
budget categories. Results are being reported to local media and to the
IRS. And the people said . . . .

"Education" is their top priority, receiving 33% of the peoples' budget.
"Housing and Health Care" came second with 23% of the pennies, then
"Environment", with 13%. These same three categories ranked highest in the
penny poll last year. The people awarded the military with 11% of the
funds, up from 10% a year ago. Science, the Arts, and International Aid were
allotted 9%, 6%, and 5% respectively.

At 11% for the military, these taxpayers are slashing the military portion
of the budget to less than half its current share. From the comments, it
appeared that some voters saw a need to show support for the military during
the current air war against Serbia, but others responded the opposite way.
"None for the military," said one man, "even though my son is in it. I wish
my boy would just come home from that aircraft carrier." Said another, "I
didn't vote today the way I would have even a few years ago: none for the
military now, because of what we've seen lately."

After the pennies were counted, results were phoned to the IRS. Agent Ron
Reston of Holtsville NY was asked to pass the figures "to whoever spends the
money." He responded, "Well, right now it looks like your President is
spending a lot of it."

Penny polls have become a popular event in many cities in recent years.
Results from last year's penny poll at the Elkhart post office were
published nation-wide by the War Resisters League. The Elkhart poll was
again conducted by Christian Peacemaker Teams.