It is that time of the year when we prepare for the election to be held in November.
The Shadyside Local School District is requesting a 4.61 mill 5 year levy. We are asked once more to approve a property tax increase, which the Supreme Court called an unconstitutional method to fund schools, this ruling has been ignored by the state and we continue to have our property taxes raised.
I believe that the voters should be able to review an itemized report in the newspapers so they can make a vote based on knowledgeable information. We are asked to vote on very vague information, regarding the reason for the need.
The school district knew of this shortcoming several years ago and used a bandaid approach by just waiting to put a levy on the ballot. I would like to ask the senior citizens and retirees in the district, who are on a fixed and diminishing income situation, for example, your health care premiums being increased, food costs, gasoline prices, utility increases, minimal social security raises didn’t they cause a decrease in your income?
I believe the financial planners for the school district should have acted with fiscal responsibility, and reduce costs according to meet the fiscal situation like good financial managers do. What about the additional students you got from other districts, who brought their money into the district.
In closing, give us more financial information in the newspapers for all the tax payers to see and not say you can come in for individual viewing thereby restricting to an individual not open to district wide viewing allowing us to see the true situation. Good managers are able to manage with available funds, not just by asking for more funds. Those on fixed and diminishing incomes have to decide which costs have to be eliminated to make ends meet.
I read with interest the front page story on the Shadyside School levy that will be on the ballot this November. I know money is tight for most people, but usually we all get our bills paid. No one wants to pay more taxes, including myself. However, taxes are what pay the bills in our town and schools.
The first big social event of the school year will be the homecoming dance. Consider what you will pay for your teenager to attend this dance. There are tickets to buy, dress clothes for the boys, flowers to purchase and a new gown for the girls which will have to include shoes, purse and other accessories, and of course dinner at a nice restaurant. Is the cost up to or over $300. All this money spent for one evening.
Examples in the school levy article quoted additional taxes of $81 for a home worth $50,000; $161 for a $100,000 home and up to $323 on a home valued at $200,000. These taxes are to pay for an education that will last a lifetime. Compare the two costs. Which one is the better value?
Ranelle Hoover DePaulis