Tax Increase Will Devastate The Elderly - And Response (2)

Friday, May 10, 2019

There are many elderly people in Hamilton County who will be devastated by a tax increase of this magnitude. I know of three cases where these people are barely getting by financially. I'm sure, at least one will be forced to sell her home. Her only income is social security and income from her CDs, and we all know the amount of income generated over the past few years from CDs. 

An increase is probably inevitable, money is needed but something must be done to protect our senior citizens like other states. 

This reminds me of Pelosi, when she stated, "Let's just sign on to this legislation now, we will read the contents later." 

Yes! This will affect many senior citizens in a negative manner.  The teachers do need a raise, I'm all for that, they are underpaid now, but aren't there other areas to cut while keeping this increase to a minimum? 

If it came to a straight yes or no today without any discussion, I vote NO!

Ben Cagle

* * * 

The schools have requested (via their budget) a $0.34 property tax increase.  The county government wants to add another $0.15 for their use (nice timing by the county).  So the total $0.49 increase would add $245 per year for a $200,000 house.  Do the math.  That's about $20 per month or less than $5 per week.

It's hard to believe $5 per week could justify all the outcry over this 'huge financial burden'.  I think it's more a knee jerk reaction to any cost increase for anything at all. 

I'm a retired senior too and my suggestion is: budget for your expenses.  In addition, I think the county has a property tax relief program to protect low income seniors.

The school budget should be evaluated on its merits.  What does society need?  What do students need?  What do parents (or grandparents) need?  And what do teachers and employees need?  If the school budget makes sense, then we ought to find an equitable way to pay for it (even if it hurts just a little). 

Geoffrey Hipp

* * * 

Mr. Hipp, 

Your comments display a general lack of understanding as to the finances of retirees on a fixed income. It sounds as if you have a comfortable income and your health and welfare would not be affected by the “$5” burden. If that is the case you are more fortunate than the vast majority of retirees. 

If we get a social security increase it is rarely more than the increase in our Medicare premiums. Work related pensions  are by and large failing to keep up with the cost of living.

Five dollars won’t buy much these days but it must be taken in context with the increasing cost of:

Gasoline 

Groceries 

Medicare insurance 

Supplemental medical insurance (if you can afford it) 

Prescription insurance (if you can afford it) 

Car insurance 

Out of pocket medical expenses 

Electrical utilities, etc.

That list doesn’t include those unfortunate individuals who must take outrageously expensive prescription medications on a monthly basis and have fallen into the “donut hole”. 

So standing alone $5 isn’t much but retirees, perhaps you being the exception, have to consider their entire and total monthly expenses. Sadly some have to choose to eat or buy medications. The elderly will continue to fall behind the cost of living. 

Our school board has no concept of living within the constraints of their income as we retirees must do each and every month. The school system simply says we “want” so raise taxes. No doubt the $0.34 increase they request is a ploy – ask for more knowing it will create an uproar and settle for less. Someone has suggested the taxes be raised only a sufficient amount to cover the teacher raises and that is certainly a more palatable and understandable justification for a tax increase. I have another suggestion. Let the tax increase cover classroom teachers only, the central offices staff is well paid – start with the superintendent, freeze their salaries, don’t include or grant them any salary increases.

County commissioners – stop the political football – make the school board do a line item justification of their budget. Sure that takes time but managing the total county budget is your responsibility. Just because one of the kids in a family screams “I want a bigger allowance” doesn’t mean it is available from the family income – nor does it mean they are entitled to it. 

Tom Wheatley

 


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