Exempting the county’s seniors from paying school taxes is a “‘lose-lose’ for the rest of us”
To the Editor:
While I understand the premise behind the desire to eliminate the school taxes on the county’s seniors, there are a number of reasons why that proposal is unfair and illogical. This proposal would be shifting a substantial tax burden to the rest of the community. I don’t think cutting $787,000 from the BOE budget is a realistic possibility. The amount currently paid by seniors would likely be passed along to the county’s others residents. Why revamp a well-established system in order to raise taxes on 75 percent of the county’s residents?
While it’s true that some seniors struggle financially while living on a “fixed income,” the same can be said for many or the county’s citizens that are of working age. Most employed people are also on a “fixed income” and don’t necessarily have the ability to earn more money than they currently do. Additionally, many of the county’s senior citizens are among our communities most affluent residents. Many seniors have accumulated substantial wealth and have healthy incomes. If there is to be a tax break given, should the only criteria be age?
Another unfair component of this proposal is the fact that when today’s seniors were of working age, they enjoyed a lighter tax burden because seniors paid school taxes. To revamp the current system gives seniors an unfair advantage; lower taxes when they worked (because seniors paid) and no taxes as seniors. That’s a “win-win” for seniors and a “lose-lose” for the rest of us.
Printed in the July 5, 2012 edition