|To the Editor: No on BG school: Vote for fiscal responsibility|
|Written by Dud and Janet Dauterman|
|Tuesday, 30 April 2013 08:28|
There is a large school property tax on the May 7, 2013 ballot which proposes to increase the BG school property tax by 60 percent. Proponents and opponents are being tagged as being either "for" the schools or "against" the schools. We all support our schools. A good school system is a strong asset in any community.
Recent attempts to raise funds for the school district are causing taxpayers to question the actual need for funds. Although state funding has gone down $800k/year on average, federal funding has increased. So why is a tax increase of $4.4 million/year needed?
The Board of Education has not explained why such a large increase is necessary. How is the money going to be spent?
Last November's income tax ballot issue was not defeated because the voters didn't support our schools. It was defeated both because the amount of funds requested was excessive and voters were not convinced that enough efforts had been made to keep spending in balance with income.
Likewise, the defeat of the income tax ley was not because voters favor a property tax over an income tax! Yet the school board has interpreted the defeat simply as a statement of preference of one tax over the other. At the same time they took the opportunity to vastly increase the size of the proposed tax hike and put it on the ballot when a low percentage of voters go to the polls.
High gas prices in the past few years have hurt the pocketbook of all consumers, yet we all made adjustments. The same must be true of the school system.
Some old traditions must cease to exist if we are to remain solvent. Administrators should no longer expect salaries which average over $85,000, along with generous benefits that bring the total compensation package upwards of $100,000. Additionally they are compensated for sick time that was never used and only intended for emergencies. Their benefits actually exceed the income of our poorest residents.
Our hard working citizens live with their means and do not expect to be funded by handouts from others.
It's time for the schools to do the same. Vote for fiscal responsibility and reform. Vote no on the tax levy.
Dud and Janet Dauterman
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