Read My LipsLeonard Presberg
Open government meetings are odd things. They end up being part meeting and part show. And any excerpt of what you say may be used against you at anytime. So it’s always fun to see yourself quoted in the local circular as saying “Nobody complains about their taxes.”
Which is, of course, ridiculous. Everybody complains about their taxes.
But in the context of lowering our school taxes, I rate this statement “Mostly True.”
I spend a lot of time in schools. I talk with teachers, students and administrators. I attend school events and talk with parents. I talk regularly with other local politicians and local business leaders. I work directly for and with multiple non-profits in our community. I follow multiple online sources of news and information about our community. Clearly, “nobody” is too broad, but it is the general sentiment of the community.
It’s certainly always politically easy to bluster about lowering taxes. I also understand that, as a School Board member, I sometimes have to face the fact that the politically easy is different from what is right. Luckily in this case I don’t have to do that.
Because our community is based on education. And we want our class sizes to be smaller. And our teachers better paid.
We don’t want to settle for “average” schools. We moved to Fayette County because our children deserve better than average.
And our community understands that educational spending is good for our local economy. Not just in the potential that a well educated citizenry can generate, but in actual immediate impact. Because 90% of our money goes to employees that live and shop in Fayette County. One study showed $1 of local spending multiplies into $1.61 in the local community.
So yes, people want lower taxes. But people really want smaller class sizes and better supported teachers and more internship programs and nicer playgrounds. And it’s better for the economy for us to provide that.
So of course people complain about their taxes. But our community believes in education. And we’d rather have better schools.