Letters (Week of May 9, 2007)


Bond hits farmers when they’re down

 

I am very much opposed to the school bond that we will vote on in June. I feel it is more a want and wish list than a needs list. The number of students is declining each year.

The part of the bond proposal that I oppose most is to build a new sports stadium with Tabor College. I do not feel that a private college should be allowed to use tax money to build a new stadium. The school district already has a good football field with lights.

The farmers and land owners will pay a big part of the taxes on this bond. The farmers are having a difficult time with the loss to their wheat crop due to the freeze. Add to this the cost of fuel and fertilizer and equipment.

It seems like this added tax will hit the farmer when he is already down.

Ray Brandt

Hillsboro

 

Find another way to fund public projects

 

Why is it people are so very quick to raise property taxes? To boost the local funding for schools, trash disposal, possibly a new county jail, etc? Why go after people’s homes to find the revenue?

Let’s look at this for a minute. A family looks for a home, and finds one they like in Marion County. They pay a large amount of money for the home, giving themselves a 20- or 30-year mortgage, and think they own their own home.

Guess what, the bank and the county still owns the home until the mortgage is paid off; then the county owns your home outright.

That’s right! I said the county owns your home.

If you don’t believe me, just fail to pay your property taxes for a couple years and see what happens.

Yes, even though there is a facade that people are homeowners, the sad truth is they are nothing more than renters.

Now, let us explore the property tax itself. Some say it isn’t actually a tax; it is a “mill levy.” Well, I disagree. The IRS gives you a deduction for it and the county will confiscate (steal) it from you if you don’t pay; that I would consider a tax.

This is a tax people have no say so on either. Some people in an office say to one another, yup, we need more money for a (insert your little project here), so lets increase the “mill levy.” All without a vote of the people!

I wonder what our founding fathers would have to say about that? After all, they let King George know how they felt back then.

Now for the monetary implications. There are many people who will not improve their homes and the surrounding structures around their homes for fear of the “value” of their property increasing at the court-house.

Think about that for a second. People who have out buildings and barns letting them go because they are afraid the county will extort more money out of them because their value “went up.”

This fear lowers the overall appearance of our communities, and older homes tend to rot away. How the heck is this productive? How does this help lure people and businesses into Marion County for that desired economic boost—especially when officials in Marion County are pondering raising property taxes again?

If you were a business owner looking to expand, would you want to go to a county that continues to raise its property taxes?

If you were a “property owner” already living in Marion County, how long would you stay if the amount of money you have to pay to live in “your” home keeps going up?

What about the retired couple living on a fixed income? Would you have them sell “their property” to satisfy the greed of the county government?

From my writing, you can tell I am an advocate for property owners. Not just for small “home owning families,” but also for folks who have worked hard on “their” family farms and ranches for years.

Do I think education should be paid for? Yes, but not at the expense of extorting more money from people’s homes, farms and ranches.

There was an article in the issue paper discussing what was “equitable.”

I say use caution anytime someone uses this word in the same sentence as taxes because “equitable” usually means: take money from the person who earned it and give it to another person who did not earn it.

Let me summarize this letter for all of the officials involved with the “mill levy” or “bond” issues. Please leave our homes alone, as you use our homes to extort enough money from us. Find the revenue somewhere else.

You can divert it from other projects, make cuts, tax something else for a limited time (hopefully not), or just go without the funding.

C. Eric Rust

Rural Marion County

 

Did article reflect proper journalism?

 

I was somewhat surprised at the Free Press using unnamed sources in Jerry Engler’s article “Move to dismiss city administrator stalls for now.”

In the article, Engler quotes “a Marion businessman, active in city government who asked not to be identified.” Is it the Free Press’s policy to quote people who do not want to named? If so, do letters to the editor need to be signed?”

Plus, I felt the paragraph, “At several points in the meeting, Mayfield supporters were apparently laughing and smiling in ridicule of Olson for her deliberate conduct of the meeting, and were joined in smiles and winks from one of the council members” added no support to the story except to add a type of gossip element to the report.

Jason Priest

Hillsboro


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