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Letter to the editor: Don't Owen countians pay enough taxes?

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By The Staff

Don’t Owen countians pay enough taxes?

In response to Bonnie Strassell’s letter to the editor from Nov. 4, I wanted to present my side of the argument concerning the library tax.

Although my family and I do not use the library as much as we’d like, I agree that it’s a vital and necessary part of the community.

I appreciate the work the library staff does and know that the services they provide are important to many citizens in our county. I’m also aware that the resources and programs the library offers are not free.

Ms. Strassell pointed out that Grant, Gallatin, Henry and Trimble counties also raised their library-tax rates this year. If we expand that list of counties to include Carroll, Franklin, Harrison, Pendleton, Scott and Shelby, only property owners in Trimble and Franklin counties paid a higher library tax than we did in 2008 – before this year’s 4-percent increase. Furthermore, the rates five of the 10 counties listed here collected last year was under 6 cents per $100 of assessed value, or about $40 less than Owen County residents paid on a $100,000 home in 2008.

For $40, I could fill the car up with gas, buy the kids a video game or pay next month’s cable bill.

The rate Owen County homeowners pay to the library has gone up over 50 percent in just four years. This fact cannot be overlooked. Some might not consider this increase excessive but I do, and if you ask taxpayers who either don’t use the library or are on fixed income, I’m sure they would agree. It’s also a fact that the school and library taxes the county collects from homeowners are among the highest in Kentucky. Real estate and property tax rates for every county in the state are available on the Kentucky Department of Revenue’s Web site, www.revenue.ky.gov. I would urge anyone interested in comparing Owen County’s taxes to other Kentucky counties’ to visit this page and see the numbers for themselves.

Everybody knows that these are difficult times. Many people, including myself, are struggling to pay their bills and provide for their families. We’ve all had to make sacrifices, but with cap and trade, health-care reform, value-added taxes and a second stimulus package on the horizon – not to mention Kentucky’s own budget woes – I have to ask this simple question: Don’t we pay enough?

I firmly believe our Constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are being taken from us in the form of higher taxes and out of control government spending at all levels. If we don’t act now to preserve these freedoms, who will? It’s time for we the people to stand up and let our voices be heard.

Chris LeSuer

New Columbus