We live in a community built on the proposition that we benefit from our collective commitment to one another.
We pay taxes to support our community – largely property taxes – and, in return, our communal investment provides us a quality of life we could never afford individually. We pay these taxes, like it or not, knowing we benefit from public education, fire and police protection, libraries and museums, parks, roads and, for some areas, drinking water and sewage treatment.
We all pay – whether we never drive on township roads, never visit a library or never pack a school lunch. It is the social compact we make when we join a community.
The biggest item on our tax bills is for public education, and with state funding for schools slashed dramatically in recent years, the local community property tax keeps our schools alive and, we hope, prospering.
On the Nov. 6 ballot, amidst columns of Democrats and Republicans vying for office, will be two nonpartisan requests asking you to voluntarily raise your property taxes. One supports Sevastopol School District’s operating costs; the other would replace the oldest sections of the school building.
You can quarrel with the Sevastopol School District plan for its scope, its priorities, its objectives. But, unlike some tax dollars, your hard-earned money will not be squandered. Your investment will continue to be cherished by a beloved, multigenerational community institution that has stood for educational excellence for nearly 100 years.
Mary and Philip Bley; Mark and Sarah Sawyer
Egg Harbor, Wis.