Letters to the Editor

A vote for our future

This retired educator, wife, mother, grandmother and community volunteer is voting Yes to thaw the freeze. I am concerned that our current Freeze tax structure will be a disadvantage to our future generations. If we “thaw” the freeze now, the school district will have what it needs to educate all children, like my grandson.

I want to live in a city that looks forward, not backward. I want the same for future generations. If the tax freeze ever had a beneficial purpose, that day has passed. We need a tax system for today and tomorrow.

I fully understand that thawing the freeze will not hurt me or affect frozen property taxes. It will, however, allow the city and the school system to have a better, fairer tax system going forward.

Join me in giving our Columbus community the tools we need. Join me in adopting a tax system that will provide growth and more resources for our students. Join me in voting Yes to Thaw the Freeze.

Jeanella Pendleton, Columbus

Homeowners beware

Do you currently own a home, or do you think you ever might own a home? If your answer to either part of this question is "yes," then you definitely want to retain the freeze, as it surely will guard against another unnecessary, cruel, and vindictive money grab by our current political leadership.

The repeal is nothing more than a money grab, contrived by … by … hmmm, by whom, Madam Mayor? I am suspicious of the people behind this repeal, for it makes no sense to force homeowners to pay more tax when we already pay a healthy amount. Yes, those notifications come quite regularly from the tax commissioner, and we pay them promptly. Anyone who believes otherwise is terribly misinformed, and who is responsible for that misinformation?

Who in our government is fighting for retaining the freeze? Where is their voice in our behalf? There probably are 100,000 homeowners, most of whom are married, in Muscogee County. Perhaps they will realize that, if this exemption is repealed, there will be a loss of $200 (on the average) every year for life in each of their homes. Someone stands to make plenty of money here, and it won't be us!

David A. Young, Columbus

Fairness and growth

I favor thawing the tax freeze for three reasons.

First, taxing property in different ways is unfair. Second, the current property tax freeze strangles economic growth in Columbus. And, third, it keeps Columbus from having the money it needs to provide the services we demand.

I want a tax system that applies the same to all, that encourages growth and fosters opportunity.

Don’t we all?

Please don’t be misled by anti-thaw advocates. If you have the freeze, you won’t lose it. The measure is constitutional. And, it won’t affect the SPLOSTs.

Alice Budge, Columbus

Need to know

Columbus Animal Control now charges for their services. But they don’t tell you until after you have requested their service. The money does not go to animal control, but the city.

About a month ago I went to get a trap to get some of our neighborhood cats fixed. I kept the trap for 9 days. When I took the trap back, the young girl said “that will be $9.” I did not have any money with me. Nor did I have my checkbook. I had to come back to my house, get my checkbook and go back across town.

All of that could have been avoided if she had just told me there would be a rental fee of $1 a day.

I have tried to make contact with the city manager so I could talk to him about this. Columbus Animal Control has always been financially supported by our tax dollars. I don’t mind that they are now charging for their services, but the way they are handling this just does not seem right. Why can’t we be given a list of the charges for their services?

Sandra Waugh, Columbus

Dangerous pledge

In a speech to the New York Economic Club on September 15, Mr. Trump indicated his administration would be “scrapping the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan … A Trump Administration will lift restrictions on all sources of American energy production.” Such statements suggest a lack of concern for observations of the global scientific community and the member states of the United Nations.

For example, in January 2015, NASA reported: “The 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998.” This July 19 NASA reported: “Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record.” Other ominous NASA reports contain similar data on rising sea levels, shrinking glaciers, ocean acidification, increasing concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases, and more.

The UN reports 28 (including the U.S. and China) of the necessary 55 participating parties in the Framework Convention on Climate Change (last December’s Paris Agreement) have ratified the agreement. Thus, the nations of the world are working to dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, while Mr. Trump favors the opposite path — which would be exceedingly detrimental to you and other life on earth.

David Newton, Auburn