School board has not proven to be good stewards of taxpayer money

Published 1:26 pm Thursday, June 22, 2017

School board has not proven to be good stewards of

taxpayer money

Dear Editor, 

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In response to the nickel tax article from June 15; As Lincoln County residents, land and business owners, we are in complete opposition to the so-called nickel tax (actually 6 cents per every $100 to be more accurate). Lincoln County schools receive $35 million per year and of that amount over 75 percent is designated for teachers salaries and administrative costs. They cite many reasons for needing the financial increase including building repairs and maintenance, as well as the proposed closure of four existing elementary schools, with plans to build two new state-of-the-art schools, despite still owing over $12 million dollars on the existing school buildings, not to mention an overall debt of 30 million. The board has not proven to be good stewards of the current taxpayer finances and we would not trust them with one penny more of our hard-earned money. 

We have never in our lives met so many people in one county who were retired by the time they were in their late 40s – many even brag openly about it. It is ridiculous to us for anybody to be able to start collecting a pension before the age of 60 unless there is extenuating circumstances. We would have no problem with somebody putting in their time and retiring, but not being allowed to access their pension until they reach a set age. Pensions were originally created for a person’s “golden years” they were never meant to be a source of income for 30-plus years at the taxpayers expense. Do the math – of course they need more money, they will always need more money.

It is also interesting that anybody that dares to question or oppose this nickel tax increase is demonized and accused of not caring about the children and the schools within their community. In actuality, they are using the children as a tool to attempt to extort more money from the hard-working property owners in Lincoln County.  This is a small tight knit community and there are many people who are indeed opposed to this tax but are afraid to speak out publicly because of the exact reasons mentioned above. Money has been thrown into this rabbit hole repeatedly “for the sake of the children” and all we have to show for it is a big mountain of debt.

Those of you who have a nice house on some property will be quite surprised at how much you’re ever-increasing taxes are going to go up. The facts are that only 50% percent of Lincoln county residents are property owners, yet everyone living in Lincoln County has access to the public school system, regardless of whether they have children or if they own property or not. It is not fair to continue taxing to death the property owner especially for what has turned into poor business decisions regarding our schools.  

If you want money for the schools, then tax everyone in the county fairly. Make everybody pay, not just the property owners, and while your at it, fill out a written financial plan designating exactly where every cent is going. A year from now, if you have not adhered to the plan, don’t even think of asking for more money. If you can’t be faithful with what you have, you don’t deserve one more thin dime. Every year, we hear how the schools have to have more money, but never is there money enough and as tax payers WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!  

Al and Barbara Hodges

Waynesburg, KY