As owners of two pieces of property in the great state of Maine we pay a staggering amount in taxes. The breakdown of where the money is distributed show that about 75% of our yearly bill in each town goes directly for public education.
This editorial in a Illinois paper proposes that residents who have no children in the school system receive a reduction because they don't use the services provided. Since vouchers and tax credits for homeschooling are likely never going to become law, the idea of putting the cost of a "free public education" on the plates of those who use it seems pretty fair. Perhaps if more homeowners were given the financial incentive to opt out, more families would switch to private school or homeschool, forcing a radical change in the educational system in America.
What do you think??
Why should a household without kids in school pay the same as the next door neighbor with several kids in school? Surely the "no kids" household should pay something, but not the same amount.
Or why should the 80-year-old widow whose home has appreciated to, let's say $400,000, pay more to the schools than the $150,000 home owner with several kids using the public school system in the same district?
Here's a proposal: Tie the school tax amount directly to the parcel number at a specified dollar amount, not the value of the property. Now, multiply that dollar amount by the number of children residing at that parcel number.
Have more kids; pay more for the use of the public school system. Everyone has a "multiplier" of at least 1. No kids in school, multiply by one. One kid in school, multiply by one. Two kids in school, multiply by two, etc. As the number of kids from a particular parcel number decreases, so does the multiplier, down to 1.
After 12 years without a kid in a public school, the multiplier drops to 0.5, 0.25, or perhaps zero. If zero, that property owner would no longer be able to vote on future school referendums.
This would apply to those who home school or send their kids to a private school.