Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Taxes and Education


Some people complain that public education does not get enough money. And in some places this is very true.

Other places, they make education a priority, thus there is more money and a better public education.

I have an example of each, but it may take a little background to explain each, so just bare with me.

The current stadium for the Indianapolis Colts, which was built in the mid-80's with the cost being split between public and private funds was $82 million. RCA paid $10 million for naming rights for 10 years.

A 1% sales tax was added to the state sales tax (5%, now 6%) at resturants, bars and hotels in the 'downtown' area of Indianapolis. This tax has never been lifted or removed. If the tax payers were to only pay half, you would think in 20 years $41 million would have been paid. Oh, and dont forget about the $10 million RCA paid.

Recently a tax increase of 1% was passed for several counties to help pay for a new stadium for the Colts. Was there talk of lifting or replacing the older 1% sales tax? No, of course not.

Other communities are increasing sales tax, but to help fund educational programs. Cobb county of Georgia had a 1% sales tax increase to help purchase technology equipment for schools. If my local county said they wanted to provide more funds to schools, but could not due it with the current budget/tax level and wanted to add a 1% sales for education, I would be OK with that. A tax for something very specific. It is easier to track, to see how it is spent, to make sure it is not spent on buying someone a new car or house or something else other than improving the schools.

Now, what would you rather have in your community? NFL team or better schools for your kids? I pick schools everytime.

Of course, in the future I might get into how mis-spent the current taxes are and they might have more money for education if they would use that tax money more responsibly and efficiently.


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