The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

February 6, 2013

Tribune Readers’ Views for Thursday, February 7, 2013

Levy: ‘This one is not for the kids’

Fayette County school levy — who benefits most? Not the students!

Will your taxes increase? Yes! Property assessments increase almost every year and with the increase in assessments your tax burden also increases.

This levy has increased by $8,698,485 annually, to $46,356,225 for the next covered period. Of this levy, the last three line items account for almost half of the levy monies — professional salary support, $2,358,000; service employee support, $1,177,000; employee dental/vision insurance, $780,000; textbooks, $823,000

Many taxpayers are now losing their homes because they can’t pay their taxes, especially seniors and low income citizens. Yet these people who do not have this insurance for themselves or their children are being forced into providing it for school and board employees.

Our school system has been taken over by the West Virginia State BOE because of poor evaluation and performances, especially in special education. Our governor and state government have stepped in to try to improve our county. Money is not the answer .

Why are we having a special election for this levy at a cost of approximately $100,000?

It should have been on the last November ballot. Our county school system was afraid it would not pass when the voter turnout was good as it was in the general election. They have posted it for a special election on Feb. 9, 2013.

So, please go out and vote. Public disclosure of the levy has not been offered, so take time to look over the allotments of the funds.

This one is not for the kids.

Gertie Smith

Lookout

Oak Hill man voting against Fayette levy

We have paid this tax for almost 50 years. We are being asked to approve another $46,356,225 on Feb. 9, 2013.

$21,575,000 is for extra compensation for employees. You may say that you are willing to pay extra taxes for better educators and instruction for our children. If so, you are wrong, because it has not gotten any results so far.

West Virginia is ranked 49th out of 50 states. Even with this dismal report, the state took over our county’s school system. The basis was that Fayette County was ranked 53rd out of 55 counties. In short, our schools are among the worst in the United States.

You may still think that extra taxes will give us better educators and schools. If so, consider this fact. At least 11 counties have no excess school levy. All but one are ranked better than us. Their average ranking is 33 in the state. Some may blame our children, rather than the teachers. If so, consider this. The surrounding counties have an average ranking of 17.5, not our 53 of 55.

Low income children get free meals. The county now wants “free meals” for everyone. They are asking us to pay $3,250,000 for them. Parents, other than those classed as low income, have always paid for them. I can see no reason to change now. I have heard that Oak Hill High School has mold. If the board does not want to lower our taxes, how about using the money to fix this problem.

I encourage everyone to vote. As for me, I will vote “NO” for these extra taxes. I will change my vote only when our children get an average education. I will even accept West Virginia standards — ranking of 28.

William Kettlewell

Oak Hill

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