I don't have any fancy titIes to put after my name at the end, only humble ones. I am a staunch republican, but have to admit that there is one democrat in this world I am happy to support, and that is Dan Wilkens. Anybody who will stand up to wasteful spending is someone I can support. I am out here on the farm struggling to survive and feed my kids and it seems people are all to happy to sit around in committees and boards and such and propose ideas that cost me money. I am in Tama County and I have seen absolutely no benefit of the TCED. I would love for the gentlemen from Dysart to explain to me how TCED improved my life as a citizen and property owner in Tama County. I think they owe that to me since they are spending my money. Until then I am going to cheer on Mr. Wilkens and support him for having the courage to call out stupid, wasteful spending. I don't remember having an election to put him on the TCED, but I remember there being an election to put him on the board of supervisors, and it seems to me he is doing his job.
A supervisor is responsible for the money spent as a county, money collected by property taxes,( which the school board would like to raise by 28% to continue to expand and fund the current, poor job they are doing with the public schools). , but I would like to point out a few things since I have already went to the effort of writing the editor.
First, property taxes are an antiquated means of taxing income. At a time when a district had only a few farms and families and nearly all of them were directly living off the land, you could safely assume that the more land they had meant the more money they had and the larger family they had. Families with more land needed more children and vice versa, so a person could assess a families tax burden by how much land they farmed or how much land it took for them to survive. Now in an age of technology, property owned and farmed is not a fair assessment of a family's tax burden, because a.) we can measure income and family size now and b.) most people do not live directly off the land anymore. So we are using an antiquated system to fund our county. One that was used back when women or blacks couldn't vote, even back to the time when we still had slaves. I think people are all to happy to shift the burden onto farmers, but that's not fair. Not all farmers are old, fifth generation farmers driving new trucks and combines. Some are young and struggling.
Second, public schools are welfare. I am as guilty of the next person as being tempted to lift my nose up while looking at those who are on food stamps. I work hard and don't need or want welfare, so it is easy to view myself as "better" than welfare. I shouldn't take someone else's hard earned money to feed my family. I have a right to look down on those that take my money and blow it on junk when they could actually work hard themselves to earn it, right? Wrong. I learned a long time ago, that as tempted as I am to look down my nose at those that are on welfare, specifically those that are unnecessarily on welfare, it is wrong. It is pride. I am blessed to be who I am and where I am, to look down on others is wrong. Yet many of us middle class have a deep down, hidden pride about not being on welfare and a resentment to those that are. BUT, the biggest welfare system in existence today is the public school system. Grocery money goes out of my pocket twice a year in the form of property taxes, and the bulk of that goes into the school system, and people send there kids to school "free of charge", and don't think twice about it. They think they deserve a free education, as much as the people we like to look down on think they deserve free food. If you send your kids to school and you don't pay the tuition, then you are as much a welfare abuser as anyone else.
Third, property taxes take food out of my kids mouths. I would be happy for anybody to explain this to me better, and I am open to being corrected, enlightened, informed or whatever, but property taxes are an unfair burden. Allowing some to avoid them and others to bear more load than they ought to. It takes food out of my children's mouths and that has me angry, even upset, and until someone can justify that theft of food, I will continue to be angry. Not so much at the current rates and valuation, but moreso at people who want to justify stupid committees or cut down those that don't support stupid commitees and spending, and angry at those with the audacity to claim they need 28% more.
Fourth, I love many of the teachers associated with South Tama, but the public schools as a whole and in particular STC(compared with other Iowa schools) are terrible. Iowa schools are terrible as compared to the rest of the nation and STC schools are terrible as compared to other Iowa schools, so why should I give them a 28% raise? I have four children, none of which are old enough to attend school, so why do I need to pay into the system? To do my part? Why don't we raise income or sales taxes to 28%, so everybody can do their part then, and do it across the board- equally. I imagine you finding yourself not supporting "everybody doing their part" if it means higher income and sales taxes. We have a capabilty to monitor income accurately now, that couldn't be done when property taxes were instituted.
Our public schools no longer teach reading, writing and arithmetic. They teach all kinds of stuff. Which has caused the academic prowess to decline and allowed immoral stuff to sneak in, and as long as that is the case I will never let my kids be "taught" by the public school. Taught stuff like accepting premarital sex or homosexuality, or that evolution is real, or there is no God, or any number of other ideals that I don't agree to. Not to mention the poor behavior that is endured by other children because of the lack of discipline, or means to discipline them.
It would be a shame for the state of our society to continue to dwindle like this. I could easily have the attitude that if you want to fund your child's education with my property taxes, then I will fund my grocery bill with your taxes, but I don't think that is the way it should be and I hope it never comes to that.
In the mean time, I will support Dan Wilkens in any way he wants to stop stupid spending.
Servant of God,
Father of four,
Property tax payer