It's the same question I ask myself every time election rolls around. Do I want to pay more taxes? Or rather, do I want to pay more taxes if it will help our schools? In general, I never want to pay higher taxes than I already am; whether it be my property taxes, which are a whopping $4000 a year, (I know, some of you may be wishing that was ALL you paid), or our business taxes, and, being self employed, we are taxed so high. I won't even go into how much we pay monthly and quarterly, but it's up there, that's for sure. But, I will say, being self employed was a choice, one that we don't regret (so far), and knew it wouldn't be cheap to run either.
I thought, years ago, that the lottery was supposed to "save the schools". And it seems that every year, there is some sort of measure on the ballot to, once again, "save our schools", and of course, this money will be tacked on to our already high property taxes. Last year it was measure 66 & 67, and all in the name of saving schools. I will freely admit, I voted no on that measure. Quite frankly, I'm pretty tired of the guilt trip being laid on me if I don't vote for it, as if I'm some sort of school hater. HELLO, I send my children to public schools, I don't hate them. But what I do dislike, immensely, is the gobbledy gook that is being thrown at me that it's all for the children, all for the teacher, and that we somehow don't care about either one of them if we DO vote no. Has anyone ever bothered to campaign for ME and MY ALREADY HIGH PROPERTY TAXES? Nope, not that I can tell. I don't vote based on my emotions, which is exactly what they want, I vote with my brain.
Now, I understand, that the state measures are controlled by those great folks we put into office in Salem, and that we are supposed to trust them to allocate the money to our schools. But, it sure seems like they've done a pretty crummy job of doing so. After all the measures that are passed, WHY ARE WE STILL NEEDING TO PASS MEASURE AFTER MEASURE AFTER MEASURE? Sometimes I feel like these people think I'm wearing a post it on my forehead that says "stupid". Well, I'm not. I'm just plain mad that this problem still exists, and that we folks here at home try to live within budgets, but far be it for me to ever expect our state, let alone our federal government, to live within one. Oh, that's a blog post for another day.
So here we are again. It's my Sabbath Day, and the phone rings.... it's a phone call from a teacher at the kid's elementary school asking for us to vote yes on the next ballot, in May, for a tax increase to allow 2 weeks of school to stay, instead of having to lose them... and, "can we count on your yes vote?". Well, to tell you truth, I say, I'm not sure at the moment. She proceeds to tell me, after I asked her what happened to the supposed money from measure 66&67, that this is strictly a local measure that will go directly to OC schools, and that it would only be $1.09 per $1000 of your assessed value of your house. Okay, so after I've done the math, that is an added $400+ a year tacked on to my property taxes. To be quite honest, I'm not sure WHAT to do. I will either be labeled as someone who doesn't care about the children or the schools, if I vote no, or, I vote yes, and brace myself for even higher taxes. DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE ECONOMY WE ARE LIVING IN AT THE MOMENT? Do I think it's fair that only home owners are the one's paying for this? Not at all!! And you SAY this is going directly to the schools, but what about next year? What will the reason be then? I don't know who to believe anymore.
John and I agree, we'd love to see teachers get paid $100,000 a year. I love, for the most part, the teachers at our school. They are very hard working and I can tell, again, for the most part, love their job. We have a great PTA. I'm not crazy about some of the new programs that have been implemented, but I try to fill the gap at home. What I DON'T like, is the decision I have to make EVERY SINGLE YEAR, about this topic. Our taxes get higher and higher every year, all in the name schools, and to no avail..... they still need money. How much am I expected to give? How many times am I going to be told the same old story? The money out of my pocket, does not grow on trees, amazingly enough. It does not come out of thin air, and it's not stashed away in some office, like Obama's.
So I'm just looking for advice, comments, anything, what is your opinion? What do I do?