Augusta at-large Councilor David Rollins is right that school officials need to get creative in their approach to education funding. It would be great to attract families with students. The real issue is how to provide education in the future.
Most districts, until the recession, were flush with students and money. It is now obvious that schools will have to operate on leaner budgets and have to use creative solutions to provide education to fewer students.
Taxpayers are not just complaining; they are expressing a reality. People are running out of money for school budget increases and town and city tax increases.
All communities want to offer a package of great schools, recreational activities, progressive government and safe neighborhoods, but a really big attraction is a reasonable tax rate.
Lately, communities, such as Gardiner, have been looking to the future, with a tax rate that people can afford.
What kind of community drives the elderly and others on fixed incomes from their homes? Some areas in central Maine have taxes that rival waterfront condominium rates in Portland.
Gardiner is an example of a high-tax community, and Augusta is fast catching up. Education cannot remain the industrial complex it has been for years. Councilors need to work to keep taxes flat and lower them when possible.
Linda Kelman Buckley
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