Overburdened by school district taxes

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:10

    To the editor: My wife and I moved to Pike County exactly one year ago to the day, and our choice had been, in part, influenced by the belief that we would enjoy a more reasonable tax environment than in New Jersey or New York. How wrong we were! I have no problem with the principle of paying property taxes if these are used by my local community in a properly accountable manner and with tangible results. There are, however, a number of abnormalities that nobody appears to have addressed as yet. For starters, the taxable value of our property is assessed by measuring the external dimensions of our dwelling even though upon either purchase or sale of the property, the actual square footage is determined by taking internal measurements. Hence, the thickness of our walls accrues to the benefit of our community, and especially, the Delaware Valley School District. We have no children, but yet, we are forced to pay more than three times the amount due to the county by way of property tax, to the school district as school tax. Electricity, gas, and telephone are all charged on the basis of actual usage, yet the school board forces us to pay for a service that we have never used, are not presently using, and never will use. We would perhaps feel less aggrieved if there happened to be a better relationship between the property taxes paid to the local community and those ending up in the pockets of the Delaware Valley School District (which, as was just reported, has agreed to squander $2.2m of taxpayers’ money on a land purchase, without any designated usage in mind). There appeared to be some hope that the newly elected school board might have exercised better control, let alone restraint, on spending our hard-earned money, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside in the same manner as the many other promises that are usually made during election campaigning. I dread the thought of what the school taxes will be when we will be due to retire - and I have the strong feeling that we shall probably move away from Pike County and Pennsylvania since we will no longer be able to afford the luxuries that the Delaware Valley School Board expects taxpayers to finance. A truly sorry state of affairs. Jurgen W. Schulze Milford