Show spending cuts before support millage

Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous letters to the editor concerning the proposed millage increase for school funding. The opinions seem to fall into two camps. The anti-tax side is composed of people who pay school taxes and will receive little or no benefit. On the pro-tax side, those that directly benefit from school taxes, current and retired teachers, administrators, and parents.

I know that revenues are down and expenses keep rising, but why is the answer always tax increases? Since many of us are retirees and have had our incomes cut quite a bit, thanks to Rep. Pettalia and his friends in Lansing, we have to get by with less. Have the schools considered cutting or eliminating sports, or other programs? Freezing or cutting employee pay, benefits, and retirement? A four day school week? Having parents carpool instead of busing?

There are two ways to balance a budget. Cutting spending and increasing revenue. Before I vote to increase taxes, I need to see spending decreases first. Sacrifices should not be one sided. You can’t keep asking one side to lower their lifestyles so that the other side can maintain theirs. In this economy, raising taxes should be the last resort, not the first.

Chris Steigerwald

Presque Isle