Was the School Board’s tax increase really necessary?
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Sep 05, 2012 | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I don’t exactly have an analphylactic reaction to taxes the way a lot of people seem to, but even I’m sceptical that the Trigg County Board of Education needs another tax increase.

But like a lot of other people in the county, and like some who spoke to the School Board Thursday night, what worries me more is that the School Board seems to plan such increases in future years.

I’ll grant that Trigg County School Superintendent Travis Hamby made an adequate case for this year’s tax rate increase. They do seem to be getting shorted by the state and federal departments of education, and there are worthwhile parts of the district that could use the money, certainly. And this particular increase isn’t going to be a large one.

And as someone who pretty much comes from a family of teachers, you won’t hear me saying that teachers are overpaid, underworking leeches, as some pundits would lead you to believe. To be fair, it didn’t seem like those in the Thursday night audience were arguing that, either.

Actually, I was impressed that one of the audience members arguing against the tax increase wanted more teachers and smaller class sizes.

I also think they should look very carefully about what they should and can cut before they look at any more tax rate increases, because future increases are going to be a hardship on a lot of people in this county. This one might turn out to be a hardship for some, as a matter of fact.

But I’m not going to crucify them for it, either. For the time being, I have no choice but to believe that they believe that they need additional revenue to improve the schools and better educate the students.

On the other hand, you could easily have gotten the impression that by the time of the hearing, the minds of the board members were already made up, and that the arguments against that were made by the audience members didn’t make much difference in the end. And it says something - though I don’t know exactly what - that the only audience members arguing in favour of the increase were two of the principals. You can interpret that how you will.

I’ll credit them for letting the people speak for for an hour and a half - it was only supposed to last a half-hour - and I hope they give the people a chance to speak at least as much the next time the propose a tax increase.

To the people reading this who are reflexively and ideologically anti-tax, I have a statement to make. If you’re reading this online, you are using a medium that was originally built by the government. If you’re reading this in the paper edition, it came to you on public roads and was delivered by a public employee. If you’re reading this in the Purchase region, it probably got to you across the recently-repaired Eggner Ferry Bridge. These are facts; to me, taxes are good or bad on a case-by-case basis.

Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at fclark@cadizrecord.com.
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