Death and Taxes

BowieCCT1's picture

Death and taxes. Two things that we all have to deal with at some time, that is certain. We know there is a road that leads to death and for some folks in DeKalb it seems there is now a road that leads to taxes.
The new bond proposition has some folks in DeKalb fuming over what they believe are unnecessary and excessive new taxes to pay for renovations and upgrades to the local school district. A look at the numbers will easily show that yes, there would definitely be a new tax burden if the voters pass both propositions. And yes, those who already pay a lot of taxes, like the big agricultural businesses in the area, will be faced with more taxes.
Is it too much to ask?
It only takes a quick tour of the facilities at the middle school and elementary campuses to see that they are in a state of need. Floors are giving out, classrooms for some of our most vulnerable students are disjointed from the rest of the campus, and security has huge gaps to fill.
So again, is it too much to ask of the taxpayers to see these needs and foot the bill?
It is really easy for me to say yes, because I don’t pay school taxes or own any land. I personally don’t own a business that will be asked to say yes to a measure that will see their pocketbook take a bigger hit.
One thing I do know is that small businesses that have a hard time making a profit now, will have an even harder time. I can see why they and some of the big ag folks might be vehemently opposed to the propositions. It doesn’t take a genius mathematician to add up the numbers and realize more taxes means less profit.
But, is it asking too much?
As far as the security on the campuses, I can offer some insight there. It is way too easy to walk into just about any building on any of the three campuses. Doing what I do for so long, I can and have walked into those buildings at all times of the day without nary a question as to what I am doing or what I need. Yes, there are doors that require you to knock and be let in. But I can tell you from personal experience, all it takes is to wait for a kid to come out those doors to gain access. Over at the Pre-K building, it is true that each room has a door straight into a classroom. That is definitely not a good thing.
But, does it require $10 million to fix these issues?
Well, as with any election or big question, it depends on who you ask. I have spoken with some business owners and Ag folks, and their answer is yes. It is far too much to ask.
Then again, I have talked with other business owners and Ag folks who say that the need for the upgrades and remodeling that the bonds will pay for outweighs the tax burden, and they are willing to take the extra load.
I have not talked with anyone that says they don’t agree that the old buildings need some attention. I doubt there is anyone who has been in the middle school band hall recently that would tell you it is definitely not what they want for our kids.
So, the question remains, is it asking too much?
Maybe the answer is to do the upgrades, just not all at one time. Fix one building at a time, borrow the money or use the fund balance and skip the bond process. That way, the work gets done without asking folks to pay more taxes.
Or, maybe the answer is to bite the bullet, get it all done as soon as possible, and make the DeKalb ISD one of the most secure districts in Northeast Texas. It is kind of hard to argue that a new storm shelter would be a bad thing. Just think about 1999. Would you not want your kids to have a storm shelter on the campus instead of scrunching down in a hallway praying that the storm passes over?
Guess what? I don’t know the answers, but I know who does. The voters.
Come November 7, the voters will decide the answers to all of the questions and the voters will decide if Prop 1 or Prop 2 passes, or not. That is how we do things in the good ol’ USA. The majority will decide.
So, rally your troops. Get all of your like-minded friends togethers and spread your message. Share the pros and cons, debate the issues, make your decision how you will vote, and try to convince others to vote as you vote.
But do so courteously. DeKalb, Texas is not Charlottesville or St. Louis. Let us be civil to those who disagree with our opinion and act like Christians. Whether that is the right thing to do or not is without question.
 

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