Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/980997

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2014

Property values tied to school conditions

By Jo Ann Crouch | Mar 28, 2013

To the editor:

On April 2 we will be voting on a bond issue that pays for needed upgrades to Fairfield High School. As I have passed along the information on the bond election, two objections keep coming up. First, people are concerned about taxes in general and because they can vote on the bond issue and not most other forms of taxation, they tend to not vote or to vote “no.” The second objection centers around not having children in Fairfield Schools. Here’s how I address each of these objections:

Always keep in mind, the better our schools the stronger our property values because people want to live, work and own homes in a city in which there are great schools. This applies to both objections.

For those who don’t want to pay more taxes, just realize there will not be an increase in property taxes from the school district’s portion. Past bond issues have been paid off so this bond issue will simply replace the property taxation that has been retired. That doesn’t mean that other local and state governmental agencies will hold their portion of the property taxes down but our local school officials are doing their best to keep our taxes low their portion of property taxes.

The second objection comes from those whose children either don’t go to the public schools or didn’t go when they were in school. Many property taxpayers who send or have sent their children to Maharishi School or smaller non-public schools have paid tuition, done fundraising and/or volunteered to support their children’s school and might not see the personal benefit.

I suggest those people who feel a pinch from paying taxes for a school they have no children attending, remember, your property values depend on good schools even if you have no children in the schools. In addition, some programs that have been private have worked together with the local school district to get public funding in Iowa because of local control of schools so there may be a time where your private school will work together with the public school for mutual benefit. It’s important that we work together to keep the public schools strong so good new ideas can be considered.

In any case, there’s no reason not to get out and go to the polls April 2. The more you vote, the more active you will be in the community and you may come up with an idea that will help the community. In the end, improving schools will help your pocketbook by keeping your property’s value strong.

 

— Jo Ann Crouch, Fairfield

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