Archive for Thursday, March 17, 2005

Taxing times

March 17, 2005

To the editor:

Attention taxpayers of USD 469: Consider the following facts, provided by the school board of this district, before voting on the $23.6 million bond issue in the April election.

¢ The school district takes in 104 out-of-district students. No issue with capacity.

¢ Two previous bond issues are still unpaid for: 1997, $10,566,105; and 1998, $393,278.

¢ Add in proposed 2005 bond issue $29,044,970 (interest included), and the total indebtedness is $40,004,353.

¢ Based on projections provided by the school board and its financial adviser, Piper Jaffray, property taxpayers will be paying a combined 258.265 mills in the next 21 years on the three bond issues.

¢ The 2004 property valuation increased by an average of 10.1 percent, meaning property owners will likely see a tax increase in 2005.

¢ Proposed legislation (2005) would allow this school board to increase the Local Option Budget 5 percent, meaning a tax increase for you.

What does this mean for you as taxpayers? Consider the following:

¢ A house with a market value of $100,000 has an assessed valuation of $11,500. Its owner would pay $2,970 in taxes over 21 years for the bond issues.

¢ A house with a market value of $150,000 has an assessed valuation of $17,500. Its owner would pay $4,455 in taxes over 21 years for the bond issues.

¢ A house with a market value of $200,000 has an assessed valuation of $23,000. Its owner would pay $5,940 in taxes over 21 years for the bond issues.

¢ A house with a market value of $250,000 has an assessed valuation of $28,750. Its owner would pay $7,425 in taxes over 21 years for the bond issues.

You as taxpayers must pay this out of pocket.

A previous $16.8 million bond issue was rejected by taxpayers of this district. So what does this school board do? It proposes a bigger bond issue, $23.6 million.

Brush aside all the propaganda and rhetoric from this school board and their steering committees; their intent is to spend lots of money and re-educate the taxpayers of this district.

Reject this bond issue. Vote with your pocketbooks and send a clear message to this school board: Pay off previous bond issues, come back with a much smaller, reasonable, responsible bond issue. The taxpayers of this district deserve better than this.

Herman Visocsky

Taxpayers for Responsible School Funding

Lansing

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