To invest in our future, vote ‘yes’ on levies
Each of us pays dozens of different taxes, but it seems ironic that the only tax on which we currently get to vote is the one to educate the children in our community.
A good education will be essential for our state and our nation to remain competitive in the world economy – especially so when today’s children will be the adults.
Many citizens want tax reform and tax reduction at both the state and national level. But voting against the current school levy does not achieve reform. And it would be a shortsighted and very damaging type of tax reduction.
This is to ask those of us who want tax reform to pick our targets carefully.
We can have good schools by voting “yes” to continue the present school levy for another two years.
Then we can focus on tax reforms that will grow the private sector and jobs for us – and also for them when they finish school. It can be a win-win situation if we vote “yes.”
NELS HANSON, Lacey
Schools, like all of us, must tighten belts
I oppose the Tumwater School District tax levy because:
1) Many people can’t afford it. My taxes went up last year by several hundred dollars while my income decreased over $10,000. What about people who are out of work or on fixed incomes? This will hit some people very hard.
2) This tax puts me and many other people deeper in debt. Many people could use the $486 (on a $200,000 home) elsewhere.
3) It’s irresponsible. I must live within my means or borrow money to stave off bankruptcy. Perhaps the school district should issue bonds.
4) It is fundamentally unfair. Families with children get extensive income tax breaks while childless couples do not. The people who use the schools actually pay less for them than people who do not.
Forty percent of my property tax bill is for the Tumwater School District. That’s more than police, firefighters, libraries, parks, roads, and ambulance service combined.
Like so many others, my income is down dramatically this year. The $450 the tax will cost me could be used to fill my nearly empty heating oil tank, or make much-needed car repairs. I’m sure many others are in the same position.
Supporting schools in admirable, but many people are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy or foreclosure. This is the wrong time to raise taxes, regardless of the purpose. Schools should learn to do with less, like so many of us do.
Please vote “No” on Tuesday.
DAVID IVY, Tumwater
Painful cuts loom if N. Thurston’s levy fails
Voting “yes” on the North Thurston school district levy should be an easy choice. There will be no increase in what we are already paying. In fact, we could see a decrease in our taxes given the current economy and decreased property values.
Art, music and physical education are often the first to suffer when a levy fails. These programs are a necessary part of our children’s education. This is where kids discover their love of painting, their passion for sports and experience the thrill of being center stage.
Recently, librarians were reduced to half time. This reduction impacts literacy. Kids love to learn about books, authors, and their origins. They need someone there to show them how to find a book and teach them the difference between fiction and nonfiction. If left untapped, this interest will dwindle.
Kids have a hunger for knowledge. Our schools are there to feed that hunger.
Every parent expects school to be a safe, secure learning environment where kids can express themselves while building the foundation for their future. When nothing more can be cut from the schools, they will begin to consider closing the doors. If schools have to close because of budget shortfall, it will disrupt this necessary comfort kids feel at school.
Top-rated schools have a positive impact on our property values. The levy that draws from this value is needed to maintain that rating. We can all benefit from a “yes” vote.
STEPHANIE GIBSON, Lacey
More money for schools won’t fix problem
I do not, for the life of me, know why we have a levy all the time.
Where does the money go and to whom? I see a lot of general statements about the millions but nothing specific.
Sherri Hruby writes about all the good things the teachers did for her children, and they also did for mine. But I consider that as doing what they get their $50,000, $60,000 and in some cases $70,000 for working 180 days or so a year.
In all the states I have lived, all schools had band, sports, art, music, and a lot of other choices. And guess what? No levy.
When I hear that some of the children are graduating without being able to read, or do simple math, something is very wrong and putting more taxes on homeowners. That will not fix it.
Make the state and the teachers responsible for doing their job. Try teaching the three R’s first.
JOHN WASIERSKI SR., Lacey
Health care system has many shortfalls
Immediately following the State of the Union message from the president, Republican leaders were on television saying, “We have the best health care system in the world. Don’t mess with it.”
They apparently prefer to avoid unpleasant facts. Perhaps they could explain why: the United States ranks 26th in the world for longevity; our rate of infant mortality puts us at number 37; our neonatal mortality rate is number 39; our maternal mortality rate places us at number 30, and we rank at number 36 for the number of low birth weight babies.
Statistics like the above could go on and on, but it is clear that our system has major failures.
We desperately need to change our system.
The above statistics are readily available through the World Health Organization or our own National Institutes of Health.
These dismal statistics are largely due to the large number of uninsured and the many children born without prenatal care.
WILLIAM QUICK; Olympia