Tuesday’s McAlester election is all about money.
There are three questions on the two ballots — for those living both in McAlester and the McAlester School District. The school ballot asks voters to approve a property tax to fund improvements in transportation ($500,000) and school infrastructure ($11,825,000). The city ballot asks voters to approve use of a sales tax to refinance $6 million in city bonds.
We endorse all three measures.
The city ballot question is an easy choice. It will save the city money by allowing existing bonds to be refinanced at lower rates. It will not extend an existing sales tax, or impose a new one. In addition, the refinancing will replace the current loan’s structure, which imposes a $2 million balloon payment in three years. That payment is one the city isn’t so sure it can make.
The school bond questions are more difficult to decide, chiefly because of the amount of new tax money involved: $12,325,000 combined. It’s a lot of money, and it will come from the pockets of property owners in the school district — the boundaries of which do not necessarily coincide with the city’s, meaning some city voters will not be able to vote the school bond ballot.
The impact of the measures on the average property owner has been estimated to be about $50 per year. For some, the tax increase will be higher; for some, it will be lower; for others — those living outside the school district — it will be $0.
Likewise, some will see no direct return on their tax “investment.” They have no children or grandchildren attending McAlester schools; they do not use school district facilities. And some of these same taxpayers will feel the pinch of a $50-per-year tax increase the most — retirees on truly fixed incomes who are already forced to make difficult, real-life choices each day about how their limited incomes are spent.
Others will see the benefits more quickly: new school building roofs, buses, classrooms and technology. Students will no longer have to dodge ceiling leaks while taking tests; the district will be able to comply with laws governing security on school buses.
A similar McAlester school bond issue has already been voted down once. The school district’s first proposal was much more ambitious, to the tune of about a 30-percent tax hike.
Changes were made and Tuesday’s proposal is a tax hike scaled back to a more palatable 13 percent.
We feel that’s both responsible and responsive.
Ultimately, the school bond measures aren’t questions of who most benefits or loses the most. It’s about our community — McAlester — and its health and growth.
We believe the school bonds will promote McAlester at the least possible expense.
Tuesday’s McAlester election is all about money.
Could the NCAA Tournament work for other sports?
The NCAA men's basketball tournament is the most profitable postseason in the U.S., so why couldn't other leagues copy its format?
Tsarnaev death sentence brings no peace
If Dzhokhar is found guilty and executed for his alleged role in the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon, I’ll sleep no better.
Final observations from the Pitt 8
A few observations leftover from an immensely exciting six days of basketball at the Pitt 8 Tournament.
So far, Big 12 holding its own
The Big 12 Conference hasn't dominated the 2013-14 bowl season, but its teams have definitely held their own.
Fins’ Incognito deserves banning
No matter the job, a line still exists between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, between behavior that creates a productive work environment and a hostile one, and Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito crossed that line in his treatment of Jonathan Martin.
Sox prove ‘team’ still matters
In winning the World Series, the Red Sox proved that the right manager and the right locker room atmosphere can turn a bunch of nobodies into champions.
EDITORIALS: Be proactive on cyberbullying; Obamacare stumbles
Parents everywhere must be rejoicing, because a new poll suggests that cyberbullying among students seems to be decreasing. / Every new program is bound to have a few glitches. But what’s happening right now with the nation’s new health insurance program and online signup efforts is disturbing.
EDITORIALS: School lunch lessons; D.C. focuses on box scores
Instead of refusing a now-nutritious National School Lunch Program, schools, parents and students should embrace the healthier standards / A box-score mentality - with too much emphasis on winners, losers, scores and assists - afflicts Washington with little concern for those who buy the tickets.
EDITORIALS: Uncertain future for campaign finance; U.S. workers lag behind
Erasing spending limits in federal elections is a sure path to even more cynicism and distrust of American politics. / Technology and the economy are conspiring against workers, putting America behind other countries.
EDITORIALS: Messages about exercise; Opening the Vatican's bank
In the modern world, medication is frequently seen as the answer for what ails you. But a new study appears to confirm what is really little more than common sense. / One of the mandates Pope Francis received when he ascended to the papacy was to clean up the increasingly corrupt Vatican bureaucracy, and the bank was high on the list of problems.
- More Editorials Headlines
- Could the NCAA Tournament work for other sports?