More School Tax Money for Big Salaries, Evicting Granny, & "Socialist Utopia"?
A couple weeks ago I said that voters in Jefferson County need clearer information to decide the expensive school funding proposals on their ballot this year.
This isn’t exactly what I meant. Here is part of the “Pro” argument in the official voters guide for the Jeffco 3A property tax mill levy increase:
Taxes should be increased $34 million annually by a mill levy of 4.4 mills. Past increases have not resulted in the desired student performance improvement and a greater infusion of funds is required. Compared to other professions and trades, teachers are poorly paid and hopefully beginning salaries in the six-digit range can be offered within three or four years.
Senior citizens with fixed incomes are hard-pressed to shoulder increases in property tax. These people should recognize that their reduced productivity calls for them to be replaced by the youth of our nation. This measure calls for some of the property taxes to be earmarked for: “Expanding options for career job skills and technical training to prepare students for today’s work world.” Half of these should be committed to the following:
Seniors on fixed incomes, to whom this school tax is burdensome, need training, as well as compassion. They must be offered the opportunity to learn how to locate more modest accommodations than those they currently occupy, and how to cope, in other communities if necessary.
This tax increase furthers the goals of our teacher unions. It is consistent with a presidential candidate’s promise for change, and hope for progress toward the Socialist utopia through education. This increase could create a pad until the oppressive TABOR measures can be repealed, and the Amendment 23 extra millions for schools be made permanent. The same criteria and logic should be applied in consideration of ballot question 3B, resulting in a resounding approval of the $754 million debt. This will add as much as $69 million to the $34 million for 3A, annually, a picayune amount considering the future of our youth and well-being of the District’s employees.
I’m only 5, you know, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this argument was not written by someone supportive of the tax increase. Usually supporters of increased government spending claim that opposition will result in old people like my great-granny being thrown out of their homes. I doubt they now want to claim that supporting more money for schools will have the same result.
And $100,000 a year for new teachers? Now I know what I want to be when I grow up. Not too bad, if that “Socialist utopia” is all it’s cracked up to be.
So someone played a joke on the supporters of 3A. But the tongue-in-cheek approach really isn’t that far off. Voters need to ask themselves if continually pouring more money into a system that shows no improvements in student performance is better than providing needed reform, including greater school choice.