Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

February 17, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Help repeal tax with a ‘yes’ vote

I drive through Westwood and I see all the signs that say, “Vote for the kids.” What about the rest of the community?

I  have lived in Westwood for more than 50 years. I have paid my taxes and supported the school through fundraisers, volunteering and so on. Now the Fairview Board of Education wants to raise my taxes and on one of the most essential things — utilities.

With the rising costs of groceries, gasoline, health care and property tax increases for the last four years, how much more can those on a fixed income take?

I read an “In Your View”  letter from a tax supporter who said the 3 percent utilities tax could help the school board lower our property tax. But it’s funny they say that now right before the election, because at the open house meetings they said they are not going to promise to lower property taxes and also cannot promise exactly what the money will be used for.

I read in the paper at the start of school year Fairview, along with a few other schools, chose to offer free lunches to the whole school because the number of children was so high they qualified for free lunch. I think it was 40 to 50 percent.  If this many Westwood residents qualify for free lunches, then how many of those households can afford more taxes when they can’t pay for daily needs of their children?

 So on Feb. 19, vote “yes” to recall the utility tax, not just for the elderly, disabled, unemployed and underemployed, but also for the kids of those families, too, and our whole community.

Janice Blevins, Westwood

Ballot on utility tax confusing

On Dec. 26, the Fairview Board of Education imposed a 3 percent utility tax on all residents in the Fairview Independent School District. On Dec 28, a committee to petition for a vote by the people concerning this tax was sworn in to canvass the district.

The committee collected more than double the amount of names needed to recall the tax. The board sued the committee, using taxpayer funds, to stop the petition to allow a vote by the people. A second petition was collected with the same result.

After many obstacles placed before us, we have completed our task to allow the residents the right to vote on this tax. We haven’t had the resources financially to compete against the funds being used for lawyers, mass mailings, signs and robo-calls. We’ve had to walk to every door to talk with residents.

Now another obstacle is facing the voters. The ballot is very confusing. The tax has already been placed on the people. Thus, the issue on the ballot is to repeal the tax. If you want to stop this tax from being put on us, you have to vote “yes.” If you want to pay this tax, you should vote “no.”

We hope our efforts have not been in vain, and that you will exercise the treasured right you have to vote on the taxes levied on you. Five people should not dictate how much taxes you pay.

Please let your vote count on Feb 19. The committee hopes you will vote “yes” to stop the tax being forced on our community.

Brenda Weis, Committee to Repeal Tax, Westwood

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