Monday, August 11, 2008

The Right and Wrong of Taxes

To follow up on my assertion about taxes, I'd like to re-print my letter printed in the community section of the Denver Post on May 9, 2008.

I was disappointed by Mr. Lou Schroeder's groundless anti-tax rant against the proposed budget and bond issues of the Cherry Creek School District. Sadly, his argument that CCSD should prove they need the money, as well as dispel any concerns voters have about "waste, fraud, and abuse," has revealed him to be uninformed and ignorant of the district's budget issues. Informed voters already know the reasons given by the district, and they also know that no school district ever proposes an increase without explaining why. In fact, that's what a proposal is; it's an explanation. Cherry Creek School District's budget is extremely transparent, as is the explanation for the necessary budget and bond election. If Mr. Schroeder wants the information, he merely needs to show up at school board meetings, check the information on the website, or call the district. Secondly, if he wants to accuse the district of misusing funds, he should back up his claims with detailed evidence.

Thomas Jefferson said we need an "educated electorate" for representative government to succeed. For Mr. Schroeder to base his opposition to the referendum simply because it is his "own money," is to claim no responsibility in the needs of the community. To oppose all taxes simply on principle with no understanding of the issues is immature and irrational, as was his shameless analogy to "uneducated rodents." Thus, I urge voters and Mr. Schroeder to actually become educated about the issue before issuing blanket statements of opposition. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society." In comparison to the citizens of other industrialized countries, Mr. Schroeder keeps a large percentage of his money. However, the money he does pay goes for our roads, our parks, our clean water, our police and fire departments, our public sanitation systems, our military, and the education of our children.

Lou Schroeder lives in Greenwood Village, which is an incredibly safe community with great roads, extensive community events, effective law enforcement, and a beautiful network of well-maintained parks and trails. These bountiful services are a direct result of the huge tax base of the Denver Tech Center, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. Lou also lives near Cherry Creek High School, which Newsweek has ranked as one of the top 250 high schools in the country. With nearly 20,000 high schools nationwide, it appears the residents of Greenwood Village are being well served by the Cherry Creek School District.

No comments: