WEATHER »

Everyone’s Subsidized


The centerfold fundraising piece in the Independent by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG) was beautiful [8/9/12]. I hope people will donate or become members. The garden deserves community support.

However, the SBBG should not write that it “is not subsidized by any government agencies or public funds” as this is not true; nor should any nonprofit. The SBBG has received regular grants of plus-or-minus $100,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The 2009 labyrinth was funded in part with $40,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts. The SBBG has had contracts with the National Park Service and the military. These are all government agencies and public funds. The SBBG’s 990 tax returns showed $1,747,451 from the government in 2007; $237,125 in 2010; and $85,000 in government contributions in 2011.

No nonprofit organization pays property taxes. This is a county government subsidy, for the public benefit that the nonprofit provides. The SBBG owns over 160 acres that are off the county’s property tax rolls.

Donations to 501c3 organizations are tax deductible. Funds deducted by eligible donors are not then available to help pay to run our government.

My point is that government subsidizes everyone – nonprofits, individuals, and private, for-profit businesses.

Support the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and other nonprofits that you believe in.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Jack Hawxhurst Dies

Led Goleta to cityhood and served as mayor and on council.

City Outlines New Homeless Plan After Scrapping ‘Tiny Home’ Idea

$2 million in state funds will now go to Cottage, police, and a street outreach team.

The Migrant Caravan and Central American History

Understanding the migrant caravan requires an awareness of Central America's recent history, social scientists say.

Procore Technology Valued at $3 Billion

New financing boost of $75 million ups construction software company.

Rescue Mission Plans Annual Feast and Giveaway

December 20 event celebrates the holidays and provides warm clothing.