If it's not a tax increase where is all the money going to come from???? Will Jesus wearing a white robe walking on clouds come out of nowhere and magically make a pile of money for the schools???
In this editorial DICK FOREMAN seems like a double talking politician who is trying to convince us that a TAX INCREASE isn't a TAX INCREASE!!!!
Continuation of override does NOT mean tax increase
My Turn by DICK FOREMAN
If I had a nickel for every vote that ultimately defeated last November’s maintenance and operation budget override request for the Tempe Union High School District, I still wouldn’t have enough money to buy my wife and daughter a ticket to the movies, popcorn and drinks.
That campaign lost in 2012 by 811 votes. Other Southeast Valley school districts had similar fates. Chandler Unified lost; Higley lost. And Gilbert didn’t just lose, its override was crushed.
In fact, half of all schools throughout Arizona lost in their request to budget the legislatively approved, authorized rate. But in the Southeast Valley, we outdid the state average. We managed a 100 percent failure rate. [Well for us taxpayers that is a 100 percent success rate at crushing overpaid school bureaucrats.]
Couple these losses with multiple years of state budget cuts to school funding, and the reality is stark, humbling and demoralizing for most educators.
So, where are we now? Many taxpayers believe we need a plan for our schools that doesn’t raise taxes. Many education advocates are now simply seeking to maintain current spending without any increases in tax rates, too. And here’s the good news for both sides: IT CAN BE DONE! [If you ask me it sounds like you are asking for a tax increase that is called something else, so you government bureaucrats can pretend it isn't a tax increase, while at the same time shake us down for more money!!!]
Recently, I joined a representative group of Tempe Union parents, civic leaders and concerned taxpayers to review the M&O Override, the 10 or 15 percent options, and what we would recommend to the governing board. For the typical taxpayer, the difference is only about a buck and a half a month between the two options; a couple nickels a day. [a couple nickels a day sounds like a con mans way of saying a dime a day, or $3.10 a month or $37.20 a year which I want to keep myself instead of giving to some under worked over paid government bureaucrat that is always whining asking for more money!!!] The same is true, more or less, throughout the Southeast Valley.
In Tempe, community leaders such as Angie Taylor Thornton supported a 15 percent override. So did Mel Hannah from Tempe Union’s Desert Vista High School site council.
But Rosalie Hirano, whose passion for education takes second place to nobody, joined me in urging a Tempe Union Citizen Finance Committee recommendation of 10 percent. [that sounds like a 10 percent tax increase, which you will probably say isn't a tax increase and call by some other name] While our citizens committee was about equally split between a 10 percent and 15 percent override recommendation, the governing board chose the lower amount. [Look Dick, a 10 percent tax increase is too much, so is a 15 percent tax increase. Why don't you guys just shut up and try to educate the kids with the money we gave you!!!]
Message to taxpayers: “We heard you and we’re holding the line on spending. Will you support us now?” [Dick, I think you are asking for more money??? Or a TAX INCREASE????? You didn't hear us!!!! We don't want a stinking tax increase!!! Now shut up and go back to work!]
In Tempe, failure to support a continuation of the current 10 percent override would cut nearly $6.5 million per year from existing budgets. [I think way your saying is you want a 10 PERCENT TAX INCREASE????] About 85 percent of that money will come out of the classroom.
I do believe taxpayers want schools to tighten their belts and not ask for an increase. I do not believe Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler or Higley taxpayers wish to lay off teachers, increase class sizes or put our children literally in the streets as we scale back or eliminate many after-school programs to enable further, massive cuts.
My message today is simple. Your yes vote will NOT increase your current tax rate on any proposed Maintenance and Operation Override if the school district is asking for a “continuation.” It will simply maintain it exactly where it is. Not one penny more. [Well Dick, it sounds like you are a double talking politician!!!! A yes vote won't increase the current tax rate, but IT WILL INCREASE NEXT YEARS TAX RATE.]
So, if your local school governing board, such as Tempe Union, asks your permission to continue an existing override, they are respecting the taxpayers’ wish to hold the line on spending. They are NOT proposing an increase in taxes. [That is 100 percent BS Dick. It is too a TAX INCREASE. It's a tax increase for next year or next semester, next session or what ever you government school parasites call it!!!!]
Let’s keep that in mind. And if we’re still short a few nickels a day, may I suggest checking the creases in the couch before we cut classroom spending again?
Dick Foreman is an education advocate and community volunteer who lives in Tempe.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts