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Edgefield County, South Carolina

August 8, 2005

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EDITORIAL

Hidden taxes tax the mind, and wallet

Editorial

web posted August 8, 2005

Everyone in Edgefield County understands one thing; taxes are too high. What most do not realize is that bill you get every year that increases as if there is no end in sight is just the beginning. Take our local schools for example.

In Edgefield County more than sixty per cent of all taxes collected go to the school system. This year it is estimated the Edgefield County School Board will raise taxes again with at least a five to six millage increase, or about twelve dollars on a $100,000 home. The increase is a result of the new charter high school in Merriwether, Fox Creek.

Merriwether gets their own high school, which is made up of 99% white students, and the county as a whole gets to pay for it. It is great that Merriwether has a high school. It is another thing to make the county pay for it. However, that is just a small part of the tax problems county parents face.

Much as local governments claim charging “franchise fees” is a way to generate “revenues” from companies, the fee, another name for a tax, is passed on to citizens and they pay the tax, not the companies. Local school systems are just as crafty in raising your taxes each year and never voting to raise taxes.

Edgefield Daily.com has spoken to almost two dozen parents over the largest “hidden tax” that gets paid each year, one that never shows up on the tax bill but rather under the guise of required supplies. Certain color pens, books, notebooks, hand soap, wipes, paper towels, baggies, and the list goes on.

Most parents said they spend over $100 per child on the supplies that get collected by the teacher and is then redistributed to the class as needed. Granted, not all the items are confiscated, but a majority is.

Since when is it a responsibility of the parent to provide the school with paper towels and hand soap? What is next, a 24-pack of toilet paper? Just where does all that money we pay into the coffers for operations go?  Are we going to have to foot the bill for Clorox, floor wax, and Windex too?

Well over a quarter century ago the federal government ended the poll tax. Yet our school system, which is entirely funded through our tax dollars, charges parents a registration tax of $25. They also charge us rental on the lockers we paid for. They charge us to rent the parking space our children park in at school, which was paid for by the taxpayer.

All these are taxes, every single one.

How long before we are charged rental on the desk our children sit in? It is the same thing. We build the schools, fund the schools, operate the schools, and then we are taxed over and beyond any reasonable measure for soap and paper towels and our own property is “rented” to us.

Enough is enough. If the school cannot operate under the budget they are provided it should be they who have to cut corners and perhaps lower the pay of the countless bodies and administrators, who make far more than teachers who actually teach our children.

Until the people of the county stand up and demand an end to the taxes charged under the guise of rental and registration “fees” and the required public assistance of parents who wont send the required “goods” for their children it will never end.

Children should go to school with paper, pens, and pencils only. The only things required for an education. Do not forget to add in the “free lunch” that the government does not pay for, we. The taxpayer pays for that too. Government does not create money in case government education misinformed you on that fact.



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