Letters to the Editor

Community can’t bear additional Richland 2 burden

Whether Richland School District 2 can borrow $468 million over five years rests in voters’ hands as northeast Richland County considers authorizing the district to issue bonds to improve safety and security, rebuild three schools and build two new stadiums, among other things.
Whether Richland School District 2 can borrow $468 million over five years rests in voters’ hands as northeast Richland County considers authorizing the district to issue bonds to improve safety and security, rebuild three schools and build two new stadiums, among other things. The State file photo

Richland School District 2 is asking taxpayers to approve a $468 million bond referendum on Nov. 6. Richland County has the second highest property taxes in the state, 35 percent plus higher than Lexington and Kershaw counties. Do you want your car, boat, home and business property taxes to increase?

We love Richland 2. This is where we chose to educate our kids. But it is no secret that industrial and manufacturing development has been slow to make northeastern Richland County their home due to overburdensome taxes imposed by Richland 2 (and Richland County) from previous bonds. Unfortunately, this burden continues to be shared with homeowners and businesses alike, and at this time, the community simply cannot afford another major tax.

If you were a business, would you want to build and operate in an environment that has higher property tax rates when there are neighboring counties that have much lower tax rates? We need jobs, and development in Richland County. This will improve our tax base. It is important that we balance tax increases and desires to compete with neighboring school districts with a favorable business environment so that we can adequately educate our children.

Stephen Gilchrist

Columbia

Bonds are not only solution to funding school districts

Bonds are an inefficient source of funding. Over the course of the repayment period, taxpayers will almost certainly pay more in interest and fees than is received at the issuance of the bond. It is not the school districts’ fault that the legislature upset the way schools are funded and continually refuses to fund school districts according to their own formula funding laws. However, it is time for school districts to reassess their budgets and realize that the overextended and mammoth entities they have become is part of the problem.

It is also time to stop allowing the legislature to force districts to rely on bonds as a way of sustaining their mission. This is just a way to pass an increased tax burden on to the residents of the school districts while taking credit for cutting taxes on a statewide level. It creates a further imbalance in education funding across the state as residents in wealthier areas will be better equipped to absorb bond costs. On a personal level, with a local bond, my tax dollars are staying in my district, however the legislature has a responsibility to all South Carolina citizens, not just the more affluent ones.

Suzanne O’Dell

Columbia

Lex-Rich 5 board needs members who listen

I had planned to write this after the Lexington-Richland 5board voted to build the school on Amicks Ferry Road. However, I thought now, before elections, would be a better time to do so.

Please keep in mind when voting, that this is the board, with the exception of Jan Hammond, who deceived us last year concerning the building of a new elementary school on a very dangerous curve on Amicks Ferry Road in Chapin.

They asked us to attend meetings, voice our opinions and concerns about the school location. The majority of those attending the three public meetings were against the location that was purchased. Apparently the board had already made up their minds to build the school, regardless of our concerns.

Jan Hammond is the only board member who stood with us! We need her to remain on the board, and we need to elect new members now! In future Lexington-Richland 5 school board elections, we need to unseat those left, until we have none of the present board members who were so against us!

They are suppose to represent us, the people! We are the ones who elect them!

Beth Wilkinson

Chapin

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

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