David Coulter: Please vote ‘no’ on 4B and 4C | SteamboatToday.com

David Coulter: Please vote ‘no’ on 4B and 4C

I urge you to support ballot issue 4A. Teachers and staff salaries need to be raised, if only to compensate for the other tax increases the school district seeks. 4A is the least costly of the three school district ballot measures, and the only one that makes sense.

4B and 4C cost too much for solving a renovation/addition problem.  According to the County Clerk’s election summary pamphlet, 4C seeks to increase public debt by up to $137 million through an annual tax increase of $8.3 million. 4B seeks a $2.8 million increase. 4B and 4C together will result in a $11.1 million tax increase in their first year.

Keep in mind that as property values increase, the taxes you pay will increase. Every two years, your taxes will increase.  

In the election pamphlet, the argument “for” 4A, 4B and 4C states that the combination of the three tax increases will result in a “modest tax increase of $17.01 per month per $500,000 of actual value for residential homeowners.” Multiply $17.01 by 12 months and the tax increase is $204.12 per year.

For my home, that amounts to an increase of over 33%. Since I’m on a fixed income, that means $204.12 less for utilities, food and gas. What does $204.12 per year take away from you? 

If your home is valued higher, you will pay more. Commercial property taxes will increase $840 per year for a property valued at $500,000. Their costs will be passed on to consumers. Maybe, the business owners who will be paying significantly more taxes to the school district will miss the $204.12 of business that I can’t afford to spend locally.

The school district needs to re-think their “wish list” based on the economic realities of district taxpayers. A complete new school is not needed in the foreseeable future. Don’t forget that a new school needs an entire new staff, plus the new operational costs — costs that will continue to increasingly “tax” taxpayers.

The district’s needs are better met by a realistic “modest” renovation/addition plan that does not result in a 33% increase in school district taxes. 

Vote “no” on 4B and 4C. They place taxpayers into financial hardship forever.

David Coulter


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