My Turn: Welcome to Bondville " now vote no
Welcome to “Bondville” ” aka Truckee, Calif. If you are a homeowner in Truckee, in addition to the 1 percent assessed value of your home, you are also paying for no less than 12 additional assessments.
If your home was assessed at $250,000 in 2007 for example, by the year 2019 you will have paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000 in taxes above your 1 percent. This $6,000 does not include the latest fire tax, the recent Tahoe Forest Hospital assessment, any requests for more money from the recreation and parks district for money they will need to finish the new recreation center and, of course, Measure L should it be approved.
Further, at ($250,000 assessed value) in 2007 you paid approximately $85.57 a year for the 1999 school bonds. Measure L will add $35.80 a year to that amount immediately bringing the total to $127.00 plus 2 percent annual increase for Measure L for the next 25-40 years. The slick brochure I received supporting Measure L was careful to say no tax “rate” increase. Did those folks think nobody would notice?
The timing for Measure L couldn’t be worse. What is the school board thinking? Contrary to previous writers supporting Measure L, “updated, new and improved” facilities do not result in a better education. If students are truly motivated, they can learn almost anywhere. Throwing more money at the system does not give our students a better education.
We should not give the school district any more money until they figure out how to educate our children. So far, more money hasn’t done the job. As a former school board trustee I understand the challenges that school boards face. I also know there are places to reduce costs and that more money isn’t the ultimate answer.
We are being told that second homes are contributing to the anticipated growth by the school district. Historically, second homes do not produce students. Further, the board seems to think the increase in affordable housing will bring more students. The data is flawed.
What the school board fails to say loudly is that the “lakeside” portion of the school district is experiencing declining enrollment. Declining enrollment opens up possibilities for underused facilities.
When I first started writing this, I intended to focus on how much all the assessments cost us and what we should expect from them. I wanted to tell people who rent and don’t own property that they will feel the pinch too in increased rents. But then I read a heartbreaking article in the Sierra Sun about a mother reporting what a difficult time she is having feeding her children in our economic environment.
Then on May 1, the Sierra Sun reported that Project Mana has doubled the number of food recipients this spring. Further, more and more folks are asking for help to pay their utility bills.
A tax dollar here, a tax dollar! Proponents of assessments think these “few” dollars won’t make a difference. Think again, please!
After all, those bonds, measures and extra taxes are all good causes and sometimes pretty emotional. Who would dare to speak out against “Mom, Apple Pie, the American way and tax ’em till they bleed?”
Well, I would. Those precious dollars can make the difference in whether families have nutritious food or any food at all. Enough is enough!
Necessity is said to be the mother of invention. The school board needs to get inventive. This community is not a bottomless pit of money. I urge all of us who truly care about the human condition in our community to send a message: No more taxes.
Our students will still continue to be educated; the law demands that they be educated. Vote a resounding no on Measure L.
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