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posticon Editorial - Who Cares About High taxes?

Opinions | Friday, May 18, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Editorial

Everyone knows that election turnout is highest in general elections, especially when a president is being elected.  In last year's general election 45% of Village and Town of Lansing voters turned out.  Turnout for the April Village of Lansing election was 5%, but that is understandable because two incumbents ran unopposed, so the election result was not going to cause dramatic change.  More alarming was Tuesday's 9.4% turnout at the Lansing School District election.

When you look at all the property taxes Lansingites pay, by far the most dollars go to the school district.  Last year Lansing taxpayers paid $20.715957 per thousand dollars of property value in school taxes, a good $14 per thousand more than the next highest tax, which was $6.623573 for Tompkins County.  The Ithaca City School District tax rate was $17.4866.  The next highest after that was the Town of Lansing tax, $1.491673 per thousand, about $19 less than the school tax.  The fire district tax was about 91 cents, and the Lansing Library tax was approximately 19 and a half cents.  So you can see the school tax is significantly higher.  So why did only 493 of 5253 eligible school district voters turn out Tuesday?

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posticon Thoughts - Breathe!

Opinions | Friday, May 18, 2018 | By Casey Stevens Print
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Caseythoughts The ancient saying is that man does not live by bread alone. Variation number one: Man does not live on political thought alone, especially if he wishes to have a decent night's sleep. Information and political overload have conspired to inform me that if I don't back away from politics, world situations and opinions of all shades that I run the risk of going stark raving mad (no snarky comments from those who think I already am...). Step back from the edge and breathe, say my acquaintances who may be the ones who are mad. Advice heeded. I can revel in the natural world around me these few days of spring, so long awaited.

The world has always had an abundance of people who write marvelously and wonderfully about our natural surroundings. My favorite has been E.B. White and I could never, ever match his word-smithing, wit and wisdom, but I can revel in the world around me as it renews itself, once again.

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posticon Letters - Addressing Poverty and Health

Opinions | Friday, May 18, 2018 | By Dr. William Klepack Print
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mailmanAs the Poor People's Campaign begins its 40 days of communicating the ways poverty affects our people and nation it is important to look at how poverty affects health, causes suffering and costs all of us significant money.

As a public health official, I can state that it is clear that poverty directly affects a person's health. Their illnesses force them to struggle to maintain employment and productivity. They must use health care more to cope with their resultant illnesses and those illnesses cause expenses that increase health care premiums for everyone. If the person is covered by Medicaid, these expenses drive up property taxes since Medicaid is a major expense counties must pay for. If the person has no insurance, their visits to the emergency room become expenses for our hospitals and ultimately come out of our pockets too.

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