Seeing where Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to warm us up this summer anytime soon (although as I write this I hear rumors of sun and heat for the first of the week) I thought I would put some extra thought time into my weekly scribblin’s. Now don’t get too excited, it won’t be too much extra. But I did want to touch on a subject that, in itself, is a little touchy. And that is, how do we deal with the ever-rising property taxes in our towns and state?
Well, after some pretty good discussions at an event I was at just recently, we, I mean my staunch Republican friend, my very liberal Democrat friend, and yours truly, Mr. Independent, got around to asking that question, and it just, no matter what we talked about, always seems to come back to how much property was being donated to our nonprofit community, and being erased from the tax base.
Now, I don’t want to seem cold-hearted toward these institutions, as I always try and do what I can to contribute each year to their good work, but at some time we as a people must look at the thousands of dollars that are being erased from the tax base and put back on the shoulders of the property owners. At some time, we are going to have to look at everything from private schools to hospitals to land trusts, and many others as well. Because if we continue to shrink the taxpayer base, we will have no choice but to continue to raise taxes to pay for services, and how much can a state with one of the lowest per-capita incomes pay?
Every election year we always hear the battle cry of lowering taxes, but how many times have we actually seen any significant reductions? Now, I don’t claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but it seems pretty obvious to me where we need to look to solve some of the problem. And maybe we need to look at a gradual scale up for the nonprofits and do it over, say, a five-year period to get to full tax valuation.
These institutes are run by some smart people, and I’m sure they don’t agree with me necessarily, but they all know how to raise money, as that’s the life blood of every nonprofit, and if they were looking or planning budgets, like I’m sure they do, then it’s just another cost to be factored in each year, just like salaries or insurance.
It seems to me that elected officials fear to tread on this topic, as votes are always at stake, but if we continue to ignore the gorilla in the room, it’s only gonna get worse! I’m pretty sure that our “Big Guy” in Augusta has talked about this to some extent in the past, and believe it or not, I agreed with him at that time! But I’m afraid, no make that I’m sure, he has created so much rancor in Augusta that he’ll be lucky to get the Legislature to agree the sun is coming out again! So I’m thinkin’ all these people that are starting to look at taking his place need to look really close at how we are going to balance the budgets in the future, as a great a place as this is to live, it surely ain’t cheap!
A big congrats goes out to not only all the graduates, but to all the graduates’ parents. You made it this far. They are almost adults, can ya believe it? Good job, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas!
Been doin’ some research on next week’s scribblin’s, think you’ll like it, stay tuned!
Yankee Pride Transport