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Tax For Arts

Just caught this Marketplace story on the way home today:

The Detroit Institute of Arts is joining a small group of museums experimenting with a new way to fundraise. They’ve asked local taxpayers to chip in. Voters in three Michigan counties passed a tax increase — known as a millage.

According to Annmarie Erickson, executive vice president and chief operating officer:

“A home that has a market value of about $150,000, those individuals will pay about $15 a year for this tax.” But that adds up quickly for the museum. She says the millage plan allows the Detroit Institute of Arts to take in $23 million a year for 10 years, and that money will be spent on the museum’s operating budget.

With the fundraising burdened eased, at least in part, the development staff could then focus on building an endowment to strengthen the 125-year-old museum for the future.

What do you think about supporting community nonprofits through community taxes? Would you vote for a similar millage in your city or county in order to support a local museum or theatre?

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