To The Editor:
Recently, The Missourian reported that the county commission agreed to put on the November ballot a property tax increase proposal to pay for developmental services.
These services, according to the article, would help meet the demand for individuals within Franklin County who have disabilities to have the opportunity to have a job. Dr. Ron Kruse, executive director for the county’s developmental services agency, said the money would be spent on, “... the sheltered workshops and other facilities, such as Rainbow Activity Center in Union, would be expanded and improved.”
As a conservative independent, I see more pros than cons with this proposal.
1.) I have worked with individuals with disabilities for more than five years in the Columbia, Mo., area. The workshop they work at has private contracts with companies like 3M which the individuals do work for, (Note: Franklin County may or may not have private contract work), but it needs well-trained staff to work with the individuals as The Missourian article pointed out.
This is where tax money comes in to hire staff who are competent as well as compassionate.
2.) I lean in the direction of not increasing taxes, but if there is a tax increase, I would rather cast a direct vote on a specific issue such as this.
3.) My wife and I live not too far from the Washington workshop. Individuals walking to and from work or getting on the bus in the afternoon most of the time have a smile on their face with their lunch box in hand. They seem to reasonably enjoy what they do.
4.) Waiting three to five years to have an opportunity to work is not reasonable.
In conclusion, the possible increase in property taxes would be more money out of our income, but what that money is going for and the way it will be decided (through a ballot vote) is worth it.