Letter: Please vote no on April 13
When the city or county proposes even a 10 percent tax increase it's front page news. But when the school is proposing a 56 percent increase it's like pulling teeth to get anyone to admit the details. Why? I've studied the financial statements an...
When the city or county proposes even a 10 percent tax increase it's front page news. But when the school is proposing a 56 percent increase it's like pulling teeth to get anyone to admit the details. Why? I've studied the financial statements and even called Ehlers twice to get the facts.
At the public meeting in Wolf Lake I asked Carolyn Drude of Ehlers financial about the tax impact if the referendum passes. Specifically the percent increase. She wouldn't give a strait answer. Instead she talked about how complicated our property tax system is and proceeded to tell about the circuit breaker and other tax breaks that you may or may not qualify for. Targeting low value homes as their tax is minimal to begin with.
But one thing never changes. Every dollar must be paid by someone. So if you don't pay much someone else has to pay more. Here are the numbers they gave so you can do the math. 2011 school levy (amount paid by the district taxpayers) $539,408 per year without referendum. 2012 levy $842,491 per year if the referendum passes. That equals a district wide average increase of 56 percent, no matter how you slice it and dice it to try making it more palatable. And this is for 15 years! I called Ehlers for my property tax increase and mine would be 57 percent. So they pretty much confirmed my simple math.
At the Wolf Lake meeting I also asked about the more than 25 percent open enrolled students and how it was affecting our school needs. Superintendent Mary Klamm corrected me and stated "it's less than 20 percent" and didn't really elaborate. Why did she do this? Was I wrong? Was she trying to change the subject? Trying to discredit me? I don't know, but I do know that 204 out of 768 does equal 26 ½ percent.
There seems to be a pattern of hiding the truth or changing the focal point. Last year we were told it would cost $1.3 million to install elevators. This was presented many times as fact. But after Sharon Tate questioned the excessive sounding cost, they were forced to admit it was only a guess and no bids or quotes were even requested. The plot thickens. Why can't we just be given the whole truth without having to dig for it?
The tougher times get the more people are going to watch where their tax dollars are going. And many less expensive alternatives exist and should have at least be considered.
Low interest is not a reason to build such an expensive plan. Banks are advertising mortgages as low as 3 ½ percent but foreclosures continue and houses are not selling. Auto manufactures are offering 0 percent financing but dealer lots are full. Don't you understand? There is too much uncertainty on the horizon.
If you can afford a 56 percent tax hike good for you, be thankful, but try to understand that many of our neighbors can't. Please vote no April 13.
If you work afternoons or find it difficult to get to the school or stand in line for hours just call the school at 564-4141 for an absentee ballot. That is what they are for.