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Letter: Most cannot afford another levy

Most in the community cannot afford another levy and more taxes.

In response to the other Letters to the Editor and articles proclaiming the virtues of the proposed levy, I, too, would like to see the students get all the education they can. However, the first and most important thing we need to teach the children of today is how to live within their budget and means and not be a financial burden to the rest of society or their community.

In recent times, we have all had to learn to do without and that will only become more so if this levy passes. There are already people in our community that cannot pay for both medicine and food, much less increased taxes. The people on fixed incomes who live in apartments would most likely see their rents increase because the owner of the building would have to pay for this levy.

The example that is continually used is for homes worth so much will only pay X number of increased dollars. I find it interesting that no comments are made about people who own homes and businesses and would be taxed on both, not just one or the other and as a business, their land and building are taxed. No mention is made either about how resorts would be taxed on all of their property and buildings, not just the house, garage and one acre. Passage of this levy would adversely affect so many people in the community financially. I know if I was a student today and found out that anyone would go hungry, not have the proper medicine or actually lose their home because they had to pay more tax so I could have all the advantages that the proponents of the levy deemed necessary, I would be so ashamed! Pride in oneself is more than all the so-called "advantages" in the world. Knowing that you rose above the disadvantages by self-motivation and going beyond the limitations in place will teach an individual so much more than any classroom or computer.

The school district will not fail if this levy does not pass and the world will not come to a screeching halt. Yes, there may be more cuts and won't affect the student's education, and yes, perhaps those taking college courses in high school will actually have to wait until they are in college and pay their own way, but it will not be the end of the world. Teachers may actually have to teach rather than supervising their helpers. If there are students in classes who are not getting enough attention to learn what they need, how about having another student who is doing well mentor them? Isn't that part of learning - to work together to achieve a successful outcome. I believe most schools refer to it as Team Work! We did it when I was in school and had larger classes. Doing that also helped students to understand other students whom they may not have had contact with otherwise.

I will be voting no on the three questions to this levy because I just cannot afford an extra $1,200 a year for additional taxes if I want to stay in business. You see, I had a minimum of 35 students in my classes, had no computers whatsoever, were not allowed calculators in school and actually had to do the work in our heads. I graduated from high school, went on to graduate from business college and now am running my own business. I didn't learn the computer in school, but on my own after I started working. Again, if you want it enough, you will reach beyond any limitations to achieve your goal. Technology is in today's world, but if the power goes out, students had better be able to use their own brainpower to move ahead or all the computer training in the world won't help one iota. How many of the students working retail now can actually count change back to the customer? I have yet to experience that in Perham. I'm given a handful of change and am expected to believe it's correct. If the dollar figure wasn't on the register, would the clerk actually know what to return to the customer? I have serious doubts they would know.

Most of us are going through tough financial times right now and bankrupting anyone to give to another is not the way to keep a community. Don't make people on fixed incomes choose between housing, food and medicine. Don't be the one to put someone out of their home or business because they cannot afford increased taxes. Vote no on the levy.

Cheryl Harris