What portion of income taxes go to creating better neighborhoods?

Whether you planned ahead or rushed to get them done, income taxes were due yesterday. Income tax pays for a variety of federal programs, including programs that help communities build in better ways. What portion of income taxes go to these programs?

The White House’s Federal Taxpayer Receipt breaks down how much of the budget was spent on different programs, and what that means for an average taxpayer’s tax payment. Enter your tax information below to find out exactly where your tax payment went. (If you don’t have your tax payment information handy, you can use one of their general Income Estimates.)

So what part of federal taxes went to neighborhood development programs? A mere 0.48%, according to the White House’s estimate. The “Community, Area, and Regional Development” line item includes “spending on activities to strengthen communities, including spending on the Community Development Fund. Other major accounts are Operation of Indian Programs, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and the Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program Account. (Corresponds to budget subfunctions 451 and 451).”

Here’s how much that works out to in cash for the average taxpayer:

Income estimate 2012 tax payment
$25,000 income — single with no children $8.52
$35,000 income — single parent with one child $3.85
$50,000 income — married with one child $4.78
$60,000 income — single parent with one child $21.88
$80,000 income — married with two children $22.03

At less than one half of one percent of the annual budget, “Community, Area, and Regional Development” is one of the smallest line items included in the White House’s breakdown. It falls right between natural disaster relief, at 0.43%, and spending on embassies and foreign affairs, at 0.50%.

This is only an estimate of course, and these figures may not include every program that impacts neighborhood development so take them with a grain of salt. These numbers also do not include the federal highway trust fund, which is not paid for through income taxes (technically).

Programs that help communities build in better ways impact the long-term economic strength of America’s towns and cities. That’s an impressive accomplishment for just a few dollars a year.

If you want to see stronger federal support for these programs, send a letter to your members of Congress today. Congress is just beginning to debate spending levels for fiscal year 2014, so now is the time to speak out for these important federal programs.