Revealed: Who funds the Taxpayers’ Union

Jordan and I set up the Taxpayers’ Union almost ten years ago with a mailing list of around 100 people, under $50,000 in the bank and one staff member. It has grown since then, and this is because it gets so much support from ordinary Kiwis.

Last year we ended up with over 200,000 active subscribers to our mailing lists. That represents 1 in 14 voting adults or 1 in 19 of all adults. Every single one of these subscribers has chosen to follow us, and read what we say (people get unsubscribed if they don’t open the e-mails after a period).

The number of donors has also increased massively. Over 20,000 New Zealanders have donated to fund our work. We are arguably the successful grass roots funded political organisation in New Zealand.

As I understand it, more people donated to NZTU in 2022 than to any political party, bar National.

The vast bulk (80%) of our donations and income is from small contributions from our supporters of anywhere between $5 and $1,000 per year, with an average of $63.28 donated.

In 2018, small dollar donors made up 40% of our income and for the year to 31 October 2022 they made up 80.4%. Anyone who claims the TU is funded by a few wealthy people is lying.

A few years ago a few people got excited that one of our members was a tobacco company (no surprise – neither of us like the tax on tobacco that has fuelled the criminal black market). Well even in earlier years donations from industries (alcohol, sugar, nicotine, and construction) made up only 15% of our total annual income and now they represent just 2.1% of our total income.

This information has been on the TU’s website since November. I’m very humbled and proud by how many New Zealanders support the TU, and want to thank through my blog the many many people who have made it possible for us to be effective.

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