Monday, January 16, 2017

School Property Tax Here We Go Again

ASD proposes tax increase
By: Stephen Althouse | WFMZ
"The 2018 proposed preliminary budget presented during Thursday night's finance committee meeting features a 4.6 percent tax increase on property owners... a "wild card" could be the state's potential approval of legislation to eliminate school district funding through property taxes."

My Comments
Here we go again with what has become an annual rite of passage. We all know how this works. They start off with a 4.6% increase ending up with a somewhat lower figure. Call it painting lipstick on a pig if you will. Who's kidding who?

See here's the thing. My Social Security income for 2017 is $7.50 less a month then last year. I'm not alone. So has the hourly pay decreased over the years for most. Yet the opposite applies when it comes to funding education.

I have absolutely no idea how revenuers came up with the idea that someone's property bears any relationship to education costs what-so-ever. There comes a point in time when someone's kids who have been out of school over 30 years should be considered as having repaid their debt. All the more so for those now retired on limited incomes or never had kids.

I understand the argument against eliminating property tax with a new state plan fully funding local schools. The argument being local districts would lose control to the state. I little doubt that--BUT we can't keep going in this direction. Yes we can deduct these on our federal taxes. But that doesn't help those like myself who are retired. Besides why should the federal government receive less income because of these ever increasing local taxes?

A Few Better Ideas (1) Increase federal funding for local schools. Currently everyone gets deductions for the number of kids they have. The more kids the less you pay--the more it cost government to educate them. That make little sense. Of course the federal government would have to make this money available w/o the many strings they have attached as they do now.

(2) Currently I'm paying almost $200 a month in school taxes. It's like paying off the government for the right to own a home. This hardly encourages homeownership especially to those who most need them to raise kids. Renters they too get stuck as part of their monthly rent whether they have kids or not. Referring to above--instead those presently working with kids would be footing a larger portion for the educational services they use.

(3) How much should the school's responsibly be? This brings into consideration daycare, free meals, extra curricular actives--which should be a definition unto itself. I'm a believer schools should give students the tools they need. Not so much a believer in them taking on the social needs outside of the scope of their original core mission. To focus on providing understandings of math, science, reading and writing almost entirely. While sports, school musicals and learning to play instruments is nice--99% of the graduates aren't going to be able to make a living off of them.

(4) School districts spend huge amounts of money on salaries for people chasing after grants, state and federal funding and on those needed to meet the compliances attached to them. This must be weighed against whether they are worth the costs. So too should federal and state legislators be held accountable for the hoops local districts have to jump through to receive them.
It's unlikely these changes will come about. Yeah I get it. Same old BS year after year with no end in sight. Mark my words-- one day the well is going to run dry.

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