The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 6, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

Give yourself a raise, taxpayers; reject levy

As a longtime taxpayer, I oppose the Fayette County Excess School Levy tax.

A lot of tax-bought material presented by tax-paid people encourages voters to support the levy. This material misleads people to get them to vote for the levy.

One very misleading statement is that voting for the levy will not raise your taxes. This is wrong, very wrong. If your property is reassessed at a higher value or you buy a new car, you will pay more levy taxes. Your property improvements will subject you to more levy taxes.

What they don’t explain to folks is that their taxes will drop substantially if the levy is defeated. No kids will starve nor will students receive any less of an education if the levy is voted down.

You will hear “For the Kids” ... nothing could be further from the truth. All have witnessed the fiasco that has taken place over the last several years with the Fayette County Board of Education. We have paid a superintendent a couple of year’s salary to leave.

The State Board of Education took over the County Board, put in their own superintendent, yet we kept paying the displaced superintendent’s salary.

Where is all the money saved by doing away with the numerous jobs and expenses associated with the closing of both Mount Hope High and Middle schools?

West Virginia leads the nation in the cost per student spending. Fayette County is clearly failing in all categories. We have tried throwing more money at the problem for years. It has not worked!

Our education system is a cash-gobbling monster with an insatiable appetite. Recent studies indicate that lack of money is not the problem. We pay enough taxes without this excess levy that should be sufficient to provide the children a quality education. Levy money for the education system finds its way into the pockets of politicians and big unions.

In the last couple of years most taxpayer’s salaries and benefits have taken a big hit like mine has. It is time for the education system to realize that the cash cow is getting kind of lean. If you would eliminate the votes of the people who benefit financially from the levy and those who do not pay taxes, this levy would not have a chance. Taxpayers give yourself a big raise and vote against the levy.

Darrell Linksweiler Sr.

Mount Hope

Who does levy benefit? Not the students!

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