2014-01-29 / Letters

Levy protects property values

Dear Editor:

As taxpayers in Morgan County, we must protect our interests in a healthy county if for no other reason than to protect our investments in the real estate we own. Without a careful and comprehensive assignment of dollars collected through taxes, this county — any county — cannot assure those who pay property tax that their government is doing all it can to protect property values. When those values fall, people who have consistently paid their fair share of taxes suffer financial loss through devaluation and/or difficulty in selling their property.

In many counties in this country, a comprehensive property tax not only funds services like fire, police, garbage collection, recycling and parks, as well as road repair and construction, it also funds schools, local libraries, arts organizations and recreational facilities. In Morgan County, the funding of schools is only partially addressed within the county’s budget as funded by property taxes and requires tax payers to vote on completing the funding — the school levy.

A consequence of this separate levy for our schools is to empower voters with what is, in effect, a line item veto over many of the interrelated components of the schools’ educational programs. This “veto” has a strong possibility of doing serious harm to the quality of public education in Morgan County. That harm, in turn, makes our county less healthy and less attractive to families with school age children and, in the end, becomes a detriment to the property we own. Property values decrease, less property taxes are collected, less money is available to support county budgets, and ultimately, our property investments are substantially devalued.

A healthy school system generates a strong local economy and strengthens individual financial worth.

Bennett Lentczner

Charlotte, N.C.

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