SGBC Modesto

T’aint Right, Robert

March 13, 2024 by

William Heinrich

Have you noticed the post office is raising the price of stamps? We all groan, but know they need a greater income to pay increased expenses. What is particularly important to notice for the user is the one that meets the need. It is not passing a law or something requiring everyone to send them $50 a year whether or not they use the post office.

That is not the way property tax works. A great deal of the property tax that property owners pay is for the public schools. Should not those who use the schools (parents of students) pay the costs? That’s the way the government run post office does it. Why doesn’t the government run the schools the same way? When the schools are being paid for by property tax, only a few pay for all; furthermore, only a few of the few actually have children in a public school. Many have graduated or never went to a public school yet they keep on paying for “all.” Adding to that thought, some property owners have chosen a private school for their children and, therefore, pay again for their education. The property tax is great, yet all non-property owners have a free ride. This “t’aint right, Robert”. Those who say “well they don’t have to send them to a private school” have missed my point. The point is the government run post office is supported by those who use it and that is the right way. What can be done to change the inequality of school support?

One more example will satisfy my ambition in this short essay. How does our government get land to widen its roads? First, they make long range plans to widen a certain road. Second, they pass a law that nothing can be built on that property where the road may some day be placed. Third, they refuse to grant building permits to the owners of the properties until they grant to the state or county the portion of their land for a road someday. However, if the permit was legitimate in every way and the building was a sufficient distance back from the proposed road widening then they will offer you a permit. Of course, you pay plenty for the permits but the state or county gets your land free. Why is this not identified as stealing and bribery? Should you happen as a property owner to not need a building permit during the time when it has been decreed that nothing can be built on your property that the state or county has claimed, then you will be handled differently. First, you will be asked to volunteer this land citing others who have done so for the people’s good. Secondly, should you refuse, you will be offered a settlement. More than one property owner has hired a property lawyer to attempt to acquire what he deemed a fair price for his land he never desired to sell.

Again I make the same point. Why should a few pay for the all? Why doesn’t it run like the post office where the users of the service pay for the service? Unless ethics are taught and adhered to, the county or state will always want a free ride, and soon think it’s owed to them. Those who use the post office pay for that use. Those who use the schools should pay for that use, and those who use the roads should pay for that use. To expect or litigate a free ride for the most at the expense of the few just “t’aint right, Robert”.