816 Opinion

Letters to the editor

Updated: 2014-02-06T14:33:35Z

Hurting homeowners

Once again, middle-class homeowners in the Center School District are getting gouged with another school tax increase (1-8, 816, “Falling property values boost tax rates in Center, Fort Osage”). Most homeowners’ taxes are already going up because of last year’s reassessment even though home values are still well below what they were several years ago.

Workers’ wages have been stagnant for nearly the same length of time. Many people have lost jobs or are working less than a 40-hour week. Of course the district couldn’t care less about the additional financial hardship this places on the homeowner.

The school tax portion of our bills accounts for nearly 75 percent of the bill. I already have to set aside more than $210 a month just for that part alone from my retirement check. The full amount is due Dec. 31.

I wonder how long before people can’t purchase a house simply because of the exorbitant tax bill.

Tim Bullock

Kansas City

Creating jobs plan

In the midst of continued unemployment, why not try tax credits to facilitate job creation? A “120 plan” would allow businesses a direct tax credit for new positions at the rate of 120 percent of salary and benefits — up to a salary of $120,000.

Provided there was no reduction in positions or wages, the original salary and benefits costs could be taken off the company's taxes for six years at the 120 percent rate (with a maximum deduction of 10 years total for this credit) — much of this cost presumably coming back to the government via income taxes of those employed.

A companion “raise the minimum” plan would allow businesses directly to reduce taxes by that amount plus 20 percent for six years, for the cost of raising employee wages lower than $15 an hour to that amount. (The credit would only apply if the company did not reduce the number of employees or reduce other salaries.)

Getting more money in the pocket of people by creating jobs and increasing lower wages likely would increase the purchase of services and products, which would in turn create more jobs.

Amrita Burdick

Kansas City

Hurting KC schools

If the court agrees with Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and Kansas City Public Schools don't get their provisional accreditation, then every school district that has 70 percent or below in meeting the accreditation criteria should be declared unaccredited because it was an ordered arbitrary decision by the Missouri commissioner of education with the OK of the state board of education.

The fact is the Kansas City district by getting 70 percent toward accreditation surpassed the criteria for provisional accreditation. Nicastro knew that if the Kansas City Public Schools were unaccredited, with the transfer policy being in force, it would destroy the district.

Because of her affiliation with the Kauffman Foundation and the Hall Foundation she got funding for CEE-Trust to develop a program for the Kansas City school district, which was rolled out in January. And even without using the word charter as a mainstay, everyone knew that it was the chartering system they were introducing, which would be controlled by outsiders,

H. Lon Swearingen

Kansas City

Northland washboard

North Oak Trafficway from Barry Road to north of Missouri 152 in both directions is concrete that is like riding a wild horse. It needs grinding down badly to smooth it.

It has been this way since it was poured and is getting worse by the day. The city should never have accepted it in this condition.

Jerry Jennings

Gladstone

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