Open Letter to Gilbert Voters: When Government Expands, Freedom is Lost
OCTOBER 24, 2013
by Jeff Smith
I’ve heard the most potent arguments in favor of the tax increase known as the “override” and, as a conservative, I’m not at all convinced.
Last November the voters of this community resoundingly defeated the override. Now the school board has decided we all need another bite at the apple, although this time in an off-cycle election that will cost the taxpayers $328,000.
While the rest of us have seen our home values and incomes reduced in recent years, and made commensurate cuts to our household budgets, the board has voted to give raises and is now asking for another tax increase, in an effort to completely insulate the school district from any of the negative economic effects the rest of us are dealing with.
We’re told that there’s no “hidden pot of money.” Assuming that’s true, it’s most likely due to inefficiency, waste, and corruption. The fact is, growth of per pupil spending in GPS has dramatically outpaced inflation over the last 11 years, even as the % of dollars spent in the classroom has decreased. The district has had additional override funds at its disposal for the last 5 years, so if there’s no rainy day fund, it isn’t due to a lack of funding from the taxpayers. The lack of reserves speaks more to mismanagement of the budget than it does to any dire need for higher taxes.
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