Letter to the Editor: School Bond Timing Questioned

Peter Heimdahl
Los Alamos

This letter is not intended as a pro or con for the School Bond Vote, but a disclosure of information that the pro bond contingent has neglected to make public.

According to the County Clerk’s Office, the cost of this special election to taxpayers is approximately $30,000.

The Los Alamos Public Schools administration could have saved taxpayers a large sum of money by holding this election on the same date as the general November 2012 election, but opted not to.

Why? It is a common strategy throughout the U.S. for special interests to hold elections (mostly to raise taxes) on odd dates. The reason is that the general taxpayer is asleep and less likely to pay attention and to turn out and vote.

This allows the special interest group to ramp up the vote of their own people and have an easier time passing the tax increase.

Also, make no mistake—this is a tax increase. It is difficult for the County Assessor’s Office to pinpoint exactly how much taxes will go down if the issue is defeated.

The best they could give me is a rough, ballpark figure. For example, property taxes would go down about $320 per year on a home with a full assessed value of $200,000.

The merits of this bond increase may well be valid, and I voted for the bond. But I strongly object when deceptive tactics are used to stack the deck against taxpayers.

The squandering of $30,000 on a special election grates me the wrong way, as it should all taxpayers. These are not the kinds of lessons our educators should be teaching our children.

 

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