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I am not a person to normally write to the newspaper. But I was so upset this week that I have to express my concerns.
In the Aug. 25 edition of the paper there were three public hearing announcements regarding tax proposals for Marion County. One was for the library (4.3 percent increase over last year), second for the county extension services (4 percent increase) and the third was for the school district (didn't even give a percentage - listed as money figures that we need a financial wiz for) all needed for rising costs of expenses (materials, equipment, travel, etc.) From the past week's paper, the school board approved this increase even though they received calls opposing it. As far as "no one attended the meeting," how can most tax-paying citizens do this when meetings are scheduled at noon, 4:15 p.m. and 5 p.m.? We have jobs at these hours to make money so we can pay this increase in our taxes. Whatever happened to having meetings at 7 p.m. so working citizens could attend? Does this hour inconvenience our county representatives? I am so sorry! We are in a poor state of our economy. Almost all businesses have had to make cuts. The place I work for has had to do this also in the past two years. Many of us taxpayers have not received raises for the past few years, including those on social security and fixed incomes. Do we have an easy bank to go after when our income has to be tightened? Companies like Ford, GE, etc. have had to cut expenses. Do they go after their employees and say, "Give us more of your money to pay what we want to spend!" I don't think so. These county agencies are using our money. I know from the past meetings at the school board that positions had to be cut. But at the same token, Gov. Beshear is trying to get federal money to help the school districts with this (news report Sept. 9). Why do these agencies think if they tighten their belt in June that they can come back in September and get it from the taxpayers? Sometimes belts need to be tightened. The thought that we have to keep spending more and more of the taxpayers' dollars does not guarantee a better education! We have to cut out travel, equipment, etc. from our home budgets - it is okay every now and then. Next year might be a better year. A budget is a budget! Work it and stick with it. I am tired of giving what was quoted as "$15 extra dollars on a $100,000 home." Many people are lucky if they have a $100,000 home they can hang onto with today's economy. If it is just $15, our school district's finance director must breathe a lot easier with her household income at night than I do (and she made this same comment last year). I feel sorry for the disabled, elderly and unemployed people of our county that wonder how they can keep their utilities on, insurance paid, food on the table and medications that are necessary to stay alive! I don't want to hear the response, "but our educational system needs this money," or "our library needs to look to the future," etc. Every one of us has a need for this money in order to survive. Those that vote for tax increases need to remember who they are representing. I will continue to pray that I have a job so I can give these agencies "$15" here and there. Thank you for allowing me to vent. Editor's note: Barbara Hagan is a resident of Loretto.