Letter to the Editor: Higher taxes affect those who can’t pay

Editor:

At the most recent tax night public hearing a young businesswoman from North Shenandoah County talked about the need for raising her taxes. In her speech and in an email to each of the six Shenandoah County supervisors, this young businesswoman talked about how she owned multiple houses and how she owned a lot of property with a combined worth of over $1 million and therefore she could easily afford to pay more in taxes.

First off, God Bless America.This young businesswoman should be proud of her accomplishments. We should honor her accomplishments as part of the American story.

However this young lady has forgotten something very important here – that higher taxes affect not only those who can afford it, but those who cannot afford to pay. Take the average family of four earning a combined $65,000. Assuming they own a house assessed at $160,000, their bill will increase approximately $64 per year. To a millionaire like the businesswoman above, that is no hardship at all. But to the above mentioned family of four, or to an elderly couple living on a fixed income, this additional $64 would be a rather significant increase. Most people have a larger mortgage and thus a larger tax bill.

Every year, the school system demands more and more money. Usually for the same reason, increases in teacher pay and capital improvements. First off, let us all agree that our teachers are, after our first responders, among the most important resources in Shenandoah County. But we keep having this same conversation year after year. Each year tax bills go up, and teachers don’t see enough of the money. Activists will tell you that is because the schools aren’t getting enough money, and that if we’d only fully fund what they wanted the previous year, then that would be enough. But for government, no amount is ever enough. As Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

John Massoud, Strasburg