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Property tax matter is not a dead issue

| November 22, 2005 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

I know that the matter pertaining to the Aquatic Center is now a dead issue, at least until next time anyway. However, the property tax matter that I've been touting is not. If there's anyone who thinks that this isn't a matter that needs addressing, they should read the article in the September issue of "AARP Bulletin" titled The Big Squeeze.

I don't think that this was so much a no vote on the pool measure as it was a no vote for significantly higher property taxes. Personally, I would have been looking at an increase of over $6,000. For that kind of money, I could have gotten a really good start on my own pool. This was simply too rich for this community and a significant burden on a select number of people. An alternate revenue source has to be pursued if any future projects are to make it past the planning stages. Either, all of us should pay, or none of us!

In response to a previous letter, I have owned property in both California and Montana for nearly 30 years. The property I currently own in California has an appraised value of nearly twice that of my Montana property. Thanks to Proposition 13, I pay less in property taxes, there, than I do on my unfinished home in Lincoln County.

As I stated previously, I was for the pool, but not at the personal price that was being asked. I grew up in Southern California and spent many years hanging out at the pool. Swimming was my sport, so I can appreciate this endeavor. We had no lakes or rivers in which to play and swim, and I dreamed of the day when I could maybe live in an area such as this. So, appreciate what we do have, many others do and they're drawn to this area because of it.

A suggestion to those public employees who wish to comment on any future taxpayer-financed projects, show a little more courtesy, compassion and appreciation to those of us who are continually making the sacrifice. Telling the very people that will be paying the tab to "Bite the Bullet" (Western News Letter, dated 11/11/05), is a heck of a way to encourage the passage of any future measures. How many bullets are we expected to bite?

Until we have a much larger tax base or an alternate revenue source, one in which everyone can contribute, these projects will remain simply too expensive. An aquatic center in a large metro area can tap into 200,000 households, not just 2,000. This was just not realistic! Until then maybe those who are entrusted with the disbursement of our hard-earned property tax dollars should learn to "Bite the Bullet?"

Dave Holzer