KERN COUNTY TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION
KernTax is a member-supported, non-partisan, 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation, whose purpose is to bring about, through cooperative effort and communication, greater economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in government, basing its recommendations upon the analysis of facts obtained through research. Being non-partisan, KernTax is politically independent, viewing matters and policies in an objective, impartial manner, and taking positions based on the Association’s adopted principles. Founded in 1939, KernTax has had only one bias, the best interests of Kern County taxpayers.
Section 501(c) (4) of the IRS tax code is reserved for organizations operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare. KernTax may engage in unlimited amounts of lobbying activity, which the IRS defines as attempts to influence legislation, but may not be primarily engaged in efforts to affect the outcomes of elections.
KernTax evaluates all taxes and fees using the following principles:
ALL TAXES/FEES MUST BE FAIR. A beneficial tax distributes the burden evenly, provides services that are useful to the general public, and is levied only to pay for needed services. A bad tax splits the tax roll into high-payers and low-payers, is levied to give services to a few, and is used as an instrument of social policy.
ALL TAXES/FEES MUST BE UNDERSTANDABLE. A beneficial tax is visible, levied and spent by the jurisdiction closest to the voters, would be approved by the voters for generally desired services, and is identifiable with the services it provides. A bad tax is hidden as a fee or assessment, is levied by a remote level of government, is spent on services of least local value, would be rejected by voters, and is swept into a general fund where its use cannot be tracked.
ALL TAXES/FEES MUST BE COST EFFECTIVE. A beneficial tax pays only for the few services that can be best provided by government and supports efficient, useful governmental programs. A bad tax pays for services that could be effectively provided by the private sector and is wasted on programs of minimal value.
ALL TAXES/FEES MUST BE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY. A beneficial tax pays for services that encourage growth of the private sector, is levied on consumption, and encourages capital formation. A bad tax discourages business development and is levied on production, savings, or investment.
Kerntax evaluates all government expenditures using the following principles:
ALL EXPENDITURES MUST BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. All monies from the public treasury must be spent in a way that is legallyaccountable. All government agencies must be answerable for obligations it creates.
ALL EXPENDITURES MUST BE ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE. Economy means frugality, the prudent expenditure of money or use of resources to meet basic government obligations. Sustainable is the ability to bear, maintain or support an obligation over time.
ALL EXPENDITURES MUST BE SOCIETALLY EQUITABLE. Society is a community of people having common traditions, institutions, or collective interests. Equitable expenditures are fair to all concerned, without prejudice, favor, or rigor entailing undue hardship.