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letters to the editor

A student’s view
of school priorities
This letter is a student’s point of view in response to the article regarding the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education’s approval of spending $30,000 on improving staff/parent relationships. I am a 16-year-old student attending West Rowan High School. Since a new semester has recently begun, schedule changes have been crazy with students trying to get into different, better classes. I am among the many who had their schedule changed to get into the classes I needed, namely Advanced Placement U.S. history.
If I had not switched into that class when I did, I would not have been allowed to take it, not because of grades or a class that is too large, but because of the limited number of history textbooks. There are currently 21 people in the class, and it is at maximum capacity. I have had friends turned away from the class simply because there are not enough books. Now this is mystifying to me. Our school system can afford to spend $30,000 on staff/parent relations, but students who want to improve their GPA and their chance at college acceptance by taking an AP class are turned away because we cannot afford more books for those classes?
I have always been under the impression that the school board is supposed to support ways to improve education and provide materials for us n the students. Is it just my way of thinking, or should textbooks not be a more important part of our school system than how well my parents get along with the staff at my school? Incidentally, there has never been a problem with the latter.
ó Alex Grubb
Junior at West Rowan High School
Inflated tax rates
I was so happy to read in the post Thursday that our duly elected county commissioners all agree that the Rowan County property tax rates are 25 percent too high.
When they agreed to take a $68,000 price on a $91,000 tax value home, it sounds to me like the county has been paying about 25 percent too much tax.
You don’t have to go far to see real estate ads in the Post advertising “priced below tax value” or “price reduced” to understand the tax values have slowly crept up to the point that they no longer are related to actual fair market value. This translates into we are paying too much local property tax. At least 25 percent too much, maybe more. Even in my upscale neighborhood in Salisbury there are two homes priced far below tax value that have been on the market well over a year. Like the County has been doing, they, too, must continue to pay this inflated tax until their homes are sold. Homes that sold in my neighborhood in the past two years had to take at least a 25 percent hit off tax values to sell. Thousands of our taxpayers know their values were inflated long before the current home market “slump” was announced.
Now that our county commissioners know firsthand this problem is widespread, will they do something about it? My guess is not. If they do lower the tax values, they will vote to raise the rate, which will equate to the same tax being paid. And who wants to have their taxes raised? Or have they already been raised and we just didn’t know it?
ó Charles Isenhour
Salisbury

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