Tax relief is a phrase that is generally owned by conservatives, who want us to believe that taxes are an undue burden imposed on citizens. This morning, I’m stealing that mantra, and giving it a new spin.
This morning is the morning after reason prevailed in the Ladue School District, where 52% of voters said yes to Proposition 1, which will raise the district’s operating tax levy by $.49. And that outcome has created, for me, a sense of relief—tax relief. I’m relieved that the school district won’t have to lay off teachers. I’m relieved that class sizes will not have to increase and that valuable programs won’t have to be reduced. I’m relieved that the district won’t have to make an additional $2.1 million in budget cuts for the 2012-13 school year.
I took some heat for previous opinions I published on the subject of Proposition 1. One critic accused me of fomenting “class envy.” That’s pretty funny, considering the issue we’ve been wrangling over. Ladue School District, with its elevated property values and track record of high per-pupil expenditures, is ranked among the best districts in Missouri. So, I don’t have a problem with the idea that passing Proposition 1 to help maintain the district’s level of excellence makes Ladue’s classes the envy of others.