Letter: Let the buyers beware
Wow! The state is going to pay half the cost of the school! We will have new college credited technical training for welding and robotics, staffing and maintenance costs will magically be paid for and the school board will continue to under-levy for 20 years. Welcome to the land of butterflies, lollipops and happy thoughts.
Is there more to this story? Is this an example of "promoting" a referendum instead of giving accurate, unbiased, and complete information to the voters? We can and should have the industrial tech classes moving forward with or without the referendum and not dangling it like a carrot in front of the voters.
It's a matter of priorities.
The Menahga School has a tax calculator on its website. It doesn't tell you this is only a yearly estimate for taxes levied if the referendum passes, is built within budget, the state doesn't change the formula, future school boards continue to under-levy for the next 20 years and the district tax capacity and student enrollment doesn't change. This is a guessing game!
I'm concerned as there is no disclosure on the tax calculator to inform the voters that state aid is adjusted yearly. It assumes the board will pay off $1.7 million in previous debts, and under-levy until 2038, but no board action has been taken on this.
What If the Trump Administration succeeds in implementing school choice with school vouchers given to parents so they can direct the educational funds for their children to go to a private, religious or home school? How many parents will home school or advocate for a church school if they received $5,000 or more per child per year? If this happens the property owners are still on the hook for any bond payments for 20 years! Red flags should be popping up all over!
If you rent, keep in mind your landlord will have to increase rent to pay the added taxes and local businesses have to increase prices driving even more people to shop elsewhere to save a buck to help pay their own taxes. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped!
Do you know what $35 million is? According to Wadena County, the total value of properties in the Menahga School District is $224 million. That means we are collateralizing nearly 16 percent of all property for the school addition!