We love the Fiestas de Taos. And we applaud all the efforts of the hard-working Taos Fiesta Council to make the celebration happen every year, bringing together the wonderfully diverse people of the …
We love the Fiestas de Taos.
And we applaud all the efforts of the hard-working Taos Fiesta Council to make the celebration happen every year, bringing together the wonderfully diverse people of the region to enjoy music, dance and Hispanic traditions.
But…..(yes, you knew there was one)....we're also a little appalled to find out the council apparently lost its nonprofit status eight years ago. Why? Simply for not filing the correct federal tax forms apparently.
Now the Taos Fiesta Council isn't known, at least to this newspaper, for being very forthcoming with information, financial or otherwise, until they are ready to announce their royal court. Like other fiesta councils in the region, it is a tightknit group that likes to control all messaging.
But the Taos Fiesta Council has received tens of thousands of dollars, both public tax money and individual donations over the last eight years. The least they could do is make sure it is properly accounted for.
We've pointed this out before with one other nonprofit in town, the Stray Hearts Animal Shelter. Nonprofits have to step up their game and make sure they are forthright and transparent about what they are doing with public funds.
It is crucial to their ongoing ability to raise money. They should post their federal tax form 990s and budgets on their websites and produce an annual report showing how their donations have been used, in detail.
We harped on Stray Hearts for a lack of financial transparency and accountability a year ago. Since them, under a new board and director, they have worked valiantly to address financial problems and show they know where every penny is going.
Every nonprofit - including the Taos Fiesta Council - should do the same. Immediately. The public tax funds they receive come from taxes on hard-working business owners and consumers.
We're sure the council would expect its county and municipal governments to handle tax dollars well and be transparent about where the money is going. They should be doing the same.
We applaud the recent discussion at the fiesta council meeting to have an audit done. We hope that happens soon, and the results are made available to the public.
We also hope they get their tax forms filed soon.
Because we really do love fiestas.
Giving love to some braniacs
Are Taos kids smart? You bet they are.
We've got three new national champions to prove it.
And they are from two different schools that worked together to accomplish great things.
The Taos MemoryTygers, Abdul Khweis, Britney Hsu and Mikayla Martinez, took first place among ninth- grade teams nationally for their research into the cause and potential treatment of some serious diseases.
They brought home a championship trophy from the eCyberMission national competition in Virginia.
Congratulations team. We look forward to more great things from you.
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