Our public school system is a wise investment in our American selves and is immensely critical to the survival of our democratic society. That said, I am rather alarmed that Volusia County failed to pass the recent school tax, although I do feel a sales tax where everyone pays is much more fair than a property tax.
Remember we get what we pay for and then think of the weakened minds we are leaving for America's future. Don't you want to make a difference? I realize I've already encouraged you all to join "E Cubed Alliance -- Expecting Educational Excellence" and unite on its Facebook page but because I'm fueled by a stubborn passion, I cannot quit what I began years ago and refuse to stop believing in the power we the people possess here in America when we work together.
Jennifer A. Luznar, New Smyrna Beach
In response to: 'Thanks for nothing'
In response to Mr. Doumas recent letter in the Nov. 23 edition critical of the efforts of Volusia Tax Reform to defeat the School tax referendum, the primary focus of our campaign was exactly the same as the school district: to educate the public.
We often see local folks elected to office from outside the establishment and we suddenly expect them to be experts in the consequences of the tax policies they are implementing. This is a flawed assumption. Tax policy is complicated.
Several statements made by the school board during our debates displayed a lack of understanding of these consequences on their part. For instance, one member said we need to have higher tax rates than other counties because our property values are so low. This is circular logic. Our property values are low because our high tax rate keeps jobs and business from relocating here or growing existing business.
A sales tax would have been much more palatable because the property tax has already become so progressive it is affecting property values. More than 60 percent of the burden of property taxes goes directly on the backs of business and homes whose assessed value exceeds $150,000.
Volusia is already near the top of the millage rate pyramid. We would actually increase revenue if we lowered millage rates as California did by enacting Proposition 13 in 1978. This would encourage job creation and raise property values while spreading the burden more equitably.
All this is on top of the obvious flaws in the system of bloated bureaucracy that the school board refuses to cut. Until we see some structural reform, such as privatizing the bus system to save money, we should be skeptical of any more requests for funding by a district that is the dominant line item on our (tax) notice.
Volusia Tax Reform