The Top 5 most ridiculous TAXPAYER Tourist Traps, September 2011

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

September 1, 2011

America is a country full of museums. In fact, according to the American Association of Museums, there are at least 17,500 museums in the United States. What many Americans don’t know is that all levels of government are subsidizing these museums through a myriad of grants and earmarks. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance looks at a handful of taxpayer-funded museums and vacation points of interest in its latest expose, The Top 5 Most Ridiculous Taxpayer Tourist Traps.

At the center of the funding of this collection of taxpayer-subsidized museums and historic homes is the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program. Established in 1998 by President Clinton, SAT requires that funding from the federal government be matched by other sources of funding. Since there is no mandate requiring that the “other” funds come from private sources, additional state or local tax dollars are often used to match the federal funds. As a result, taxpayers may pay two or even three times to fund the same project. Traditionally, half of the SAT’s federal funds are awarded through a competitive process administered by the NPS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The other half is reserved for congressional earmarks.

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