Annexation just the latest attack on educators
After attending the Owensboro City Commission meeting May 21, we should all be concerned. Annexation directly affects Daviess County Public School educators, administrators, bus drivers, maintenance, assistants, custodians and office personnel who serve students and try to make a difference every day. It will be a 408% tax increase and that is substantial for most employees.
The city has admitted that taxing DCPS employees is to supplement the city employee pension account. Why should DCPS employees subsidize their employee pensions?
The city says it is necessary to pay for services being used, but what services? Roads/streets? Police? Fire protection? All roads and streets are state or county except near Apollo. Why are DCPS employees expected to pay for services used by many citizens, including nearby residents, parents and students?
Perhaps the more serious issue is governmental overreach. What is next? Annex more DCPS properties? Merge governments? Merge school systems? Another increase in the occupational tax? The city has paid for access roads, given tax breaks, sanitation and utility discounts to developers while taxing working people.
When a business is annexed into the city, it is given discounts for services while their employees will then be paying the occupational tax. The business makes greater profits but employees suffer financially.
There are properties inside the bypass that have not been annexed. Properties on U.S. 231 would provide great revenue. Unfortunately, the climate in our state and now in our local community is to target those who care for students daily, nurturing, educating, feeding, protecting and loving.
Annexation does nothing for students, but hurts teachers
Daviess County Public Schools Superintendent Matt Robbins was correct when he said, "Any nuance in their pay has a ripple effect, not only in the economy but in their personal economy called their household." You see, my wife and I are teachers at Apollo (one of the schools in the proposed city annexation) and we would be greatly affected. Our family would receive nearly a $2,000 pay cut per year due to the annexation. Our family would suffer, with no benefits gained through the new tax. My family is not alone; many others will be greatly affected as well.
I supported the nickel tax because our schools and students would greatly benefit. I cannot, however, support the annexation of county properties. The City of Owensboro wants to come along and snatch away a significant percentage of our take-home pay by annexing the property on which certain DCPS schools and buildings have stood for as long as most of us have been alive, with no direct benefit to the schools or its students make no sense. Except as a money grab for the city.
I ask the City Commission, the mayor and city manager to find other avenues to raise money, and not annex the county properties.
Pension issue affects us all
Kudos to the Messenger-Inquirer for putting Austin Ramsey's article about the Owensboro City Commission 2019-20 fiscal year budget on the top of the front page Monday, May 20, for every reader's attention.
The pension issue is one of compounding interest for all taxpayers.