We don’t have to fight to the bitter end on issue [UPDATED]Published 9:33am Friday, January 24, 2014 Updated 11:34am Friday, January 24, 2014
I would like to take a moment to help clarify the misconceptions I think are out there about why the agricultural landowners in the Rothsay School district are so upset.
The people against the new school are not against making improvements that would benefit the students in Rothsay.
I have toured the school and seen the need for action of some kind.
We also acknowledge the fact that the people in the city of Rothsay are still paying for the new building and have not been exempt.
However, with the removal of the old school operating levy, most residents will see little to no difference, if not even a decrease in their school tax.
For the agricultural landowners, that tax is guaranteed to increase and in some cases double or more! What I don’t understand, is if the people who voted yes want a new school so bad, then why are they not willing to pay for more of it themselves?
They did not want to increase their taxes to help pay for this school, yet they expect the rural area and outside landowners to significantly increase their taxes and just be OK with it?
I won’t deny that farming has been good for the last couple years and we have benefited from the combination of favorable weather and market prices and hopefully our communities have benefited from that also by means of more money being spent within them.
However, farming has more uncontrollable variables than any other business I know of.
We have no idea what the weather will be like from year to year and right now, the market prices are under $4/bushel which is $3/bushel less than where they were at the time of the vote.
To make my point, that is like cutting a wage earner from full-time to part-time or a double income household going to a single income household.
So now, you have just cut your household income nearly in half and your taxes were approved to double for the next 30 years, a mandatory expense that has to be paid whether you regain that income or not. How would that make you feel?
I know some of you will not agree with me and that is fine.
I just ask that you have a little more understanding for the people who grow your food.
Please stop making hurtful comments like the one that I have been the most disgusted with: “Well if you don’t like it, then just sell your land.”
For farmers, what they do is not just a job, it is their entire life.
Farmers are proof that hard work pays off and I do not feel it is right to tell people to just give up after they have worked so hard to succeed while doing something they love.
I am disappointed in the way our community has been split and the image it has given itself fighting over something that should be bringing people together and making it a better place.
We should be working harder to find a solution that works for everyone.
I know a lot of people are saying it’s too late, that too much money has already been spent, but that number is pocket change compared to the final cost of this project and I refuse to believe that nothing can be done.
If everyone would just pop their ego balloons and open their minds, I do believe we could find a solution that would bring this community back together and provide the students with what they need.
(Member of the new building committee, agricultural taxpayer and mother of four (three of which are open enrolled outside the district and one that will start preschool in a couple years)