The date rapidly approaches upon which Caesar demands his tribute. There is a slight reprieve this year; by quirk of the calendar, state and federal income taxes are not due until midnight, April 17. Since most folks are already in a state of agitation over the looming deadline, we won't really be ruining anyone's mood any further by running a story on the heft and relative severity of a Wisconsinite's tax burden.
Our cover story, "Are Wisconsin Taxes Too High?" was written by Jack Norman, research director for the Institute for Wisconsin's Future. Founded in 1994, the institute portrays itself as nonprofit and nonpartisan, though critics would point out that it was founded by a coalition of unions, churches and various advocacy groups. On the other hand, it is funded by grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (think old General Motors money), the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. So some moneyed interests obviously think that the institute does worthwhile work.
Speaking of worthwhile work, philanthropy and the public interest, now's the time to start getting ready for The Big Eat. This is Isthmus' annual food-based promotion of our annual Dining supplement (which will appear with issue number 17, April 26), for the benefit of the Family Centers. The Family Centers comprise four agencies: the Exchange Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Family Enhancement, the Respite Center and the Parental Stress Center. These folks share a modern, new facility on Fordem Avenue, which The Big Eat helped build.
The Big Eat takes place on April 23, a Monday, the day many restaurants are closed. More than 20 purveyors will instead be at The Big Eat, sharing a selection from their wares with participants. The site is Monona Terrace, and the start time is 5:30 p.m. Music will be provided by the Dave Stoler Trio, and $10 will buy you a raffle ticket for a diamond pendant provided by the Diamond Center; $25 will get you three raffle tickets and a $25 gift card from the Diamond Center. There will also be door prizes provided by participating restaurants.
Every year The Big Eat restaurants have been recognized by judges in five categories, e.g. best entrée, best dessert, etc. This year the winners will be determined by vote of the participating diners. If you want to participate, tickets are $50, or $500 for a table of 10. You can order tickets online at www.familycentersinc.org, or at the Family Centers or Isthmus offices. We look forward to dining with you on April 23. Bon appétit!