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Letter to the Editor-THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED-Mary Kay and Sean Alix

[THE RIGHT TO] PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED, OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST”-John Adams

On May 21, on the ballot is yet another school levy.

In referencing the HB 521 that was just signed into law, it states; “The legislature finds that the burden of taxation on the people of Idaho is too great…”, and in addition, that, 

“the primary drivers of this burden is the school districts causing an income tax rate that is the second highest quintile among states.” 

The Weiser school district will be receiving over $6,000,000.00 as a result of the passage of HB 521. Additionally, our school district received $216,668.08 from HB 292 (signed into law in 2023), which states that: “School districts are required to use funds in the order of priority as follows: (1) payment of school bonds (2) payment of school levies (3) saved for future school facility construction needs (4) used for new bonds.”

On May 21, 2024, we have the opportunity to vote against the $750,000 replacement levy which will once again, increase our property taxes. This increase will be used to fund all day kindergarten, athletics, technology upgrades, a new track and a field house (as noted on the Weiser School District website). This new levy will replace the existing levy that currently costs us $39.93 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, and will double the cost, increasing our taxes to $85.56 per $100,000 of taxable assessed values per year.

Has the new athletic foundation been approached about doing fundraising for the track instead of just placing the cost on the taxpayers? Is the field house a necessity or a nicety being placed on the taxpayer? Fundraising could also be done for this. 

Schools main objective should be to have their students excel in the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math. Currently the Weiser School District #431 is rated: 

Statewide Percentage Proficient in Reading (4th grade): 37%

Statewide Percentage Proficient in Reading (8th grade): 37%

Statewide Percentage Proficient in Math (4th grade): 43%

Statewide Percentage Proficient in Math (8th grade): 37%

(https://idahofreedom.org/school-district/weiser-school-district-431/)

When school levies are proposed, the common slogan is often proclaimed, “do it for the kids!”. However, don’t we want our kids to have an opportunity to own their own property one day, a critical part of the American dream? When considering the cost of owning a home in America, that dream is quickly becoming impossible. Think of what our parents paid for their homes compared to today, not to mention the fact that many of them had the ability to make ends meet on one income!

The average cost of owning a home with less than one acre sold in Weiser between 2022-24 was approx. $281,000, so taxes on a home of this value will increase annually from the current rate of more than $95 per year to over $216 per year-greater than double the taxes!

Additionally, the average cost of owning a home with 1 acre or more sold in Weiser between 2022-24 was approx. $545,233 with a new tax rate (if this levy passes) of more than $458 per year!

As property owning tax-payers, we owe it to the next generation to provide for them the ability to own a home. After all, their school years are very few in number in comparison to their adult tax paying years! In additionwhat about our retired and elderly who are on fixed incomes and don’t have the ability to make up for ever increasing property taxes?

We are grateful that our Founding Fathers understood the value of property ownership by not passing along heavy tax burdens to future generations. 

What a contrast to the Anti-American ideal of Karl Marx in his stated belief: “In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” Please consider voting no on the May 21 school levy, and help to protect the American dream our Founding Fathers fought for and handed down to us to preserve and protect for the next generation.

Mary Kay and Sean Alix

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