Retirees can't afford Issue 51

To the editor:

Upper Arlington is the best place I can imagine for family life, especially for the rearing and educating of children.

Yes, I hear people complain about the real estate taxes and yes, they're higher than most. Young parents weigh the pros and cons of living here and decide to adjust to the high taxes for the benefit of their children's education, community life and physical safety.

Then there are the empty-nesters and the retirees on a fixed income. The empty-nesters are still doing OK or very well financially because they're perhaps still employed and still earning an income with the potential for that to be increased; but the retirees on a fixed income are, in many cases, seeing even that eroded by interest rates on investments of less than 1 percent, rising utility bills, food prices, gasoline, etc. These persons no longer have children in the Upper Arlington school system but are still pleased to support the ongoing excellence of its education of all children.

However, they cannot afford to support the 5.8-mill levy on this November's ballot that will increase an already high annual real estate tax. Issue 51 asks for an increase to the annual real estate tax bill of an additional $582 on an average UA home appraised at $327,046.

This inflationary levy is unnecessary. Here's why: Compare UA costs and benefits with the Dublin and Olentangy schools. Those schools operate at a $13,013 and $9,465 cost per student, respectively. UA's cost per student is $15,172. All three districts receive the same rating of excellent with distinction.

A no vote on Issue 51 is a yes vote for accountability and reasonable, sustainable planning in our educational system.

This is the first time I have ever said no to a school levy.

The Rev. Dr. G.H. Rymer

Columbus

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