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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for May 9, 2011


Letters to the Editor for May 9, 2011

Tax burden should be equitable
To the editor:
I’m not against supporting children’s educations, but I think everyone should contribute evenly. The current method only taxes landowners to support schools. People who rent homes can have a dozen children and they don’t pay anything in the way of real estate taxes for their children to attend Baker County schools. I know there is going to be those who claim the landlord charges the tenant the taxes in the rent structure, but that is not true in most cases.

For example, if I owned a $150,000 residence with $120,000 of it financed on a 5-percent mortgage for 15 years the base payment would be $949 per month. Now figure what the taxes are for that residence. Based on a linear scale from my own tax statement, the taxes on a $150,000 residence would be about $1,808 per year. So a landlord to cover only payment and taxes would have to rent this example for $1,102 per month, and this allows zero for maintenance. I really don’t think the average renter in Baker County could afford this.
Baker School District receives 48 percent of my total tax dollars yearly. They also receive 24 percent greater tax dollars to administer and operate the schools than Baker County receives to administer, operate and maintain all of Baker County. Education in general receives a total of 51 percent of assessed taxes.
I think a few things should happen to make this fair. Either those that rent should start paying their equal share for their children to attend publish schools. Or when tax levies to support schools are on the ballot, only landowners should be allowed to vote on them since they are burdened with the costs, or maybe the school districts should be like the citizens are expected to be and live within their means.
In addition here is a little known fact: Under the 1785 Land Ordinance Act, section 16 of each township was set aside for school purposes. Section 36 was also subsequently added in western states. In effect this was a guarantee that local schools would have an income. I would like an explanation of where all the income from these vast land holdings went.
Bruce Morrison
Baker City

Vote no on school tax levy
To the editor:
With higher prices for gas, food, clothing, and unemployment rates higher than the national average, Mr. Wegener is asking the people of Baker County to raise their property taxes for five years. Many people have had their hours on the job cut, and/or no pay increases for three years or more.
Yet a select few, the teachers, want a raise. With two elementary schools closed, doesn’t this mean fewer students and fewer teachers. Tell us, Mr. Wegener, why don’t you publicize the salaries already being made by you and the principals and teachers? Without even asking, I know they are higher than the private sector. Also, if you get this raise, what happens at the end of five years? Another tax increase. It only makes sense to vote No.
Ann Arends
Baker City

Good job on story about doctors
To the editor:
Kudos to Chris Collins for her article about the Mad as Hell Doctors. I was there and know she got it right. But I especially appreciate her follow-up contacts with Dr. Davis and Lori Lien which added more information and gave us a look at their perspective.
I read it all!
Maryalys Urey
Baker City


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