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Eliminate seniors' taxes

To the Editor:

A 92-year-old man and his wife pay K-12 school taxes. Do you think that that's right? Of course it's not.

Down the street lives the 87-year-old widow of a WWII veteran. They raised one son who never attended public schools. Should an 87-year-old widow pay K-12 taxes? Certainly not.

We deliver "Meals on Wheels" to the homebound. You would think that we would serve lots of WWII veterans, but we don't. We serve lots of widows of WWII veterans who are trying to stay in their homes. We should do everything we can to help them.

Long before our country was formed the cry went up, "No taxation without representation." Seniors don't talk about what happened in K-12 algebra or trigonometry classes. Seniors want to know where they can find the best doctor for John Doe. There is no correlation between seniors and K-12 education.

In the beginning a teacher was hired to teach the three R's reading, writing and religion. If the teacher could cast ciphers (do arithmetic) the teacher would receive a few more pennies. The class text was the Bible.

Today our aim is basically the same reading, writing and casting cyphers. The Bible is taught in our churches and at home.

At any one time we have from 20 to 30 percent of tax-paying families using our K-12 public school system. That means that 75 percent (+/- 5 percent) of tax-paying families are not using the schools. One-hundred percent of home owners pay for our K-12 system and 25 percent (+/- 5 percent) benefit from it. Senior home owners, age 75 and over, represent 3 to 4 percent. Certainly we can operate our public K-12 system on 96 to 97 percent of our budget.

It's time to honor all veterans and all seniors over the age of 75, and to correct an inequity in our K-12 financing by eliminating all school taxes for those seniors age 75 and over.

The textbook in our first one-room school, long, long ago, had it right. It tells us that 3,500 years ago, written in stone, we are commanded to "honor our parents." Parents here is generic for seniors grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. The young are to support the old, not the reverse.

Who should support this? Our good stewards the school board members should lead.

Who should support the school board in the decision to eliminate taxes for those 75 and over? Everyone.

I urge everyone to flood the Grosse Pointe News with letters of approval so we can establish this as a monument to all veterans and seniors. Remember, one day you too will be 75, and you too will be honored.

S.E. Girardin

Grosse Pointe Farms

S.E. Girardin
February 14, 2002

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