Monday, March 10, 2008

Questions to ask yourself before supporting any tax warrant.

Our government and government schools have a spending problem and not a funding problem. We continue to see reduced productivity, deficit spending, debt, guaranteed pensions far exceeding social security, salary increases exceeding the rate of inflation and benefits far exceeding those of us in the private sector that pay these benefits for our government/school employees.

Here are some questions to ask before voting on any education warrants and tax increases.

1. Can I afford an increase in my rent or property taxes?
2. Do I have credit card debt that should be paid off first?
3. Do I have six months salary in my savings account to live off of, if I lose my job?
4. Do I save 10% of my salary each month for my retirement?
5. Am I saving enough money for my children's college education?
6. When I retire my spouse and I will need between $500,000 - 1,000,000 when we retire to live for the next 30 years. Do we have at least 500,000.00 dollars in our retirement account? (This assumes that you are not a state, city, county or school employee with a guaranteed pension that is a percentage of your 3 highest years salary.)
7. Can I continue to afford this warrant if it does pass, because as my assessment increases so will the amount that I pay for the warrant each year?
8. Do I want to put my house at risk for foreclosure?

Here are some questions to ask your school boards, administrators and teachers before voting.

1. How will you balance the budget if the warrant fails?
2. Why is the cost of education going up as much as 10 times faster than the cost of living?
3. Some teachers and administrators are receiving salary increases far exceeding the rate of inflation. How do you expect people in the community to afford the warrant when their salaries went up 3% if they got a raise or 2.1% if they are on social security?
4. 15% of the population does not have health insurance and the rest of the working population pays on average 22% of their own insurance and as much as 100% of their families' premiums. What percentage of their insurance premiums do teachers and administrators pay for themselves and their families?
5. If the warrant does pass do you promise to balance the budget and never come again to the public for another tax warrant?
6. If you plan on coming to us again for a warrant when will that be?
7. Does this plan to spend more money include class size reduction? If so do the teachers plan to take a proportionate pay cut for the reduction in workload?
8. Why do teacher salaries and administrative salaries increase at a rate far above the CPI?
9. Are your unions or associations trying to raise our state taxes as well as our property taxes?
10. If a warrant passes, when will we see our property taxes increased?
11. If asking for a building warrant when do you planning to come to us with an education warrant to staff the new building.

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