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Article published May 25, 2013
Beer comment rude
Theresa Rice Butler
It just goes to show everyone how the Butler School District School Board is completely out of touch with the plight of low-income people, especially seniors on Social Security and fixed incomes; when one member of that school board can state, and I quote, “People spend $85 a week on beer and cigarettes; Why can’t they spend $35 a year on education?” This quote was reported in the May 14 edition of the Butler Eagle. I object to this ludicrous unthought-out statement. Not everyone buys $85 worth of beer and cigarettes on a weekly basis. When was the last time — if ever — that this school board member tried to understand or find out how low-income people live? Does she think that everyone is a beer or nicotine addict? People on fixed incomes and Social Security can barely buy food and pay utilities, much less afford what she states the “people” buy on a weekly basis. I have never touched nicotine products and I very rarely drink alcoholic beverages because I struggle to live on a low income. Why is this state still exacting property taxes out of its citizens when the state, local city and county government could enact a sales tax for these purposes? Why are we not taxing the very lucrative Marcellus shale gas extractors for these purposes? Why hasn’t this state sold the state liquor store system? Money from the sale could help fund education. People on low incomes and Social Security, which does not have large cost-of-living increases, should never have to pay property taxes for school or local city and county governments. Taxes should be based on one’s ability to pay. If a person’s income is below a certain level, usually they don’t have to pay federal or state income taxes. Why should they be forced to sell their homes because they struggle to pay taxes to fund schools? It is immoral, unfair and unjust to expect low- and fixed-income people to be dishing out more cash each year for these entities that could be funded by a sales tax or higher taxes imposed on major businesses that can afford to pay these taxes. To the mindless school board member who makes idiotic generalized statements about people’s alleged buying practices, I say educate yourself on the status of all taxpayers before you open your mouth again and make ridiculous statements such as the one quoted in the May 14 newspaper. Stop raising our taxes and find more lucrative ways to fund education, city and county governments without overburdening its poor citizens.