To the Editor:
I would like to draw attention to the Miami East School District tax levy for the purpose of current operating expenses at a rate of 3.50 mills for a “continuing” period of time. Usually tax levies stipulate a certain period of time, such as five years, when they expire. The current ballot language proposes “continuing” as the period of time which means once it passes, taxpayers will probably pay the tax forever. As claimed, it is a renewal with no tax increase, but there is no expiration date either.
Changes can occur later on. Perhaps, the current millage rate may not be needed and should be decreased; thus, one reason for expiration dates on levies. Taxpayers should not be paying those “continuing” taxes if they are not needed in the future. With a “continuing” levy, the tax money is still being collected and could create a monetary excess. That excess money will be spent by the school board regardless, even if they have to find something to spend it on. That is a common practice for some government bodies.
For this reason, I feel definite expiration dates on levies keep government more accountable to the taxpayers. That kind of levy is a way to touch base with taxpayers on how their money is being used. Personally, I might vote “Yes” for a levy with an expiration date. Accordingly, I would definitely vote against a “continuing” period of time levy.
— Bonnie Sullenberger