Columnist being ‘myopic’ over taxes, schools

In a recent editorial (“Never Mind the Details, Let’s Have a Tax Revolt!” May 21, 2009), Mark Rosman has concerns about being a heretic. I assure Mr. Rosman he is not; his views are just myopic.

To state that the Abbott school districts are “now the wealthy districts” shows a total lack of understanding of the purpose of Abbott and the inherent inequality in funding the education system through property taxes that it is meant to correct. I am sure Mr. Rosman believes that the property tax base of Camden and Colts Neck are somewhat equivalent.

With his “I got mine” mentality,

he will never understand the concept that failed education systems

in poor districts will impact him far beyond the current dollars being spent to make them successful. That education dollars spent to help produce productive, tax-paying citizens of tomorrow no matter where they reside is the cheap investment as compared to the individual’s cost to society and the taxpayer if we provide a failed educational system. What is the cost of keeping one inmate incarcerated for the year in state prison?

The fact is “your” property tax dollars are going to finance “your” local school system. On a county level, Monmouth County actually has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state while maintaining some of the best schools in the state.

The tax revolt should focus on developing a fairer, more equitable system to finance all state schools, removing that burden from the individual property owner. But Mr. Rosman would not support that; after all, he doesn’t want “his” tax dollars going to support school systems in Camden and Newark.
Ron Calvo