http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070923/OPINION03/709230318/1014/OPINION    ( post a comment)
Taxes, levies destroying our financial dreams


September 23, 2007

No one was surprised when the commissioners chose to side with the Mental Health Board and place their financial needs over the financial well-being of the property owners. I guess the enormous tax increases the property owners had to endure this year weren't a good enough reason to sway them from endorsing the levy. Doubtlessly, there are a lot of people who wonder what it would take to win the commissioners' support to get a well-deserved respite from the annual onslaught of levies and income taxes.

And then just when you thought it couldn't get worse for the voters, the West Muskingum School District stepped up and said not so fast. This fall, instead of proposing a levy that just targets property owner they are proposing a tax that targets the earned income of all the people (including renters) who live in their school district. With so many families already struggling to make ends meet, it's hard to believe that a majority of them will readily volunteer to hand over .75 percent of their income for the next five years. What about after the five years is up? Will they then ask for more money? You bet they will.

The school's officials said their decision to exclude the income of the voters on a fixed income was a gesture to give them a respite from paying the tax. While others might view their decision as an attempt to pit one category of voter against the other (neighbor against neighbor or friend against friend) or a way purposely designed to discourage others from going to the polls and voting against the tax?

Folks, it's so simple. We can't do anything about death and high gas prices but we don't have to accept the new taxes that'll be on the ballot this fall. If we defeat the levies our property taxes won't increase and if we defeat the school's income tax we'll stop them from taking any of our money from our paychecks. Don't let these folks destroy our financial dreams one levy or income tax at a time.

Steve Mitchell
Zanesville