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Forum, Nov. 6: Of Nature and Taxes


Sunday, November 05, 2017
Of Nature and Taxes

At the breakfast table this morning, looking up from the newspaper’s heated debate on taxes, I saw two beautiful trees emerging through the mist, one with light green and yellow leaves, the other bearing a handsome rosy mantle sprinkled with yellows. Together, heightened by contrast, they formed a part of that glorious panorama of fall color we all relish.

But the trees might speak to us beyond their beauty as we engage in the give and take issue of taxes. People, like trees, are beautiful individuals. Also, like trees, which draw nutrition from a rich world of resources through  their roots and branches, humans rely on multiple community resources to sustain individual lives. No matter the party label, income, heritage or education, we would likely find wide agreement on basic needs such as air, water, food, shelter, security, health, education, energy, transportation, jobs, laws that define our values and a justice system that carries them out.

As Congress’ actions currently attest, we readily spring to help those who lose access to any of these because of  catastrophic events such as hurricanes, floods, fire and earthquakes.

Yet to date, scant attention has been paid to the fact that all of us share, via taxes, in contributing to these needs. Rather, the focus has been on how individuals and groups can diminish that support, even to vilifying the whole idea of taxes.

Perhaps we forget that from the silo holding nuclear missiles to President Donald Trump’s frequent trips from Washington to Mar a Lago in Florida, or from providing aid for catastrophic events to inspectors who assure the safety of our food, our taxes are at work. 

Let’s be very skeptical when we hear enthusiastic plans narrowly focused on  reducing taxes.

Congress and we, the public, will be more productive and satisfied in our negotiations, if instead we start by considering what we must do together to achieve our common goals and equitable provision for funding them.

Nature can remind us of the intimate interconnections of the human family and of our tenancy on this Earth. 

Margery Walker

Hanover

Hanover Rotary Fundraiser

The Hanover Rotary Club will host its annual gala auction at the Hanover Inn on Thursday to benefit Twin Pines Housing and the many local Rotary charitable initiatives. With the generosity of $85,000 in matching funds, this lively evening of philanthropy and fun will support Twin Pines Housing in its effort to meet the region’s critical need: an affordable place to call home.

Over 1,000 people are currently housed by Twin Pines, including young families, seniors, the disabled, the homeless and first-time home buyers. Twin Pines provides the support services residents need to remain healthy, housed and living independently in an area with rising rents and low vacancy rates.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening will also support the important work of Hanover Rotary charities. Our club supports many area nonprofits and this year we will also raise funds for The Andrew Postupack Memorial Scholarship, a four-year $8,000 scholarship to be awarded to a 2018 Hanover High School graduate.

We’re deeply appreciative of the Upper Valley business community that has not only made generous sponsorship contributions, but helped to contribute a range of exclusive auction items. A few highlights: a cruise for two to Antarctica, a three-generation family membership at a private ski club in Plymouth Notch, an adventure travel trip for two to Yellowstone National Park and more.

We hope you’ll consider joining us for this extraordinary event in support of the important work the Rotary and Twin Pines do for our Upper Valley neighbors in need. To purchase tickets, go to: www.everyoneneedsaplace.eventbrite.com.

We deeply appreciate the support of so many contributors and look forward to seeing our friends and neighbors at the auction gala on Thursday.

Nan Carroll

President, Hanover Rotary