‘Friends Of Newtown’
To the Editor:
The Newtown Bee’s recent article (“Final Budget Hearing Draws Two Who Likely Represent Many,” March 22, 2019) suggesting that two anti-budget seniors represent the rest of us seniors isn’t accurate. The Bee writer should be careful not to stereotype Newtown seniors as anti-taxes and unappreciative.
As a senior, age 71, I speak with many seniors who understand our budgets and support our school system. They know that their children benefited from our great schools many years ago and want to make sure future generations get the same benefit.
Seniors understand that the cost of educating the typical family of two children, currently about $17000 for one or $34,000 for two children, is many times the average property tax for the same family. Seniors understand, as a young family, the rest of the town subsidized the cost of the 12 years their children were in the school, with a promise to pay back the “loan” in the years after their children no longer were going to school. We don’t expect a tax cut because we are no longer parents of school age children; we still owe our fair share.
Seniors support the current tax relief program for seniors because it is a needs-based program. We understand the rest of the community is paying higher taxes to pay for the $1.6 million dollar program, and we appreciate that they are agreeable to help seniors in needs. We don’t want a handout just because we are over age 65. We know it’s our obligation to pay our share, and it’s not fair to ask others to subsidize all seniors.
Seniors share their trust with the rest of the community that the budgets are well-vetted and that the education budget is adjusted for lower enrollment and increasing special education costs. No one likes growing taxes, but we understand costs do increase. We know education is an investment in our town and our grandchildren’s future.
We seniors appreciate Newtown taxpayers’ support of our needs and thank them, especially for the new $3 million-plus senior center, the pickleball courts, and the other discounts we get for continuing education programs, Park and Rec programs, town activities, and even a break on dump fees. Our needs-based Senior Relief tax program is one of the most generous in the state, and we appreciate the assistance. In return, we support a well-vetted school and municipal budget, supported by the Board of Selectman, the Board of Finance, and The Legislative Council. They spent hundreds of hours evaluating these budgets and concluded they were reasonable, efficient, and in the best interest of Newtown. We are “Friends Of Newtown.”
12 Glover Avenue, Newtown April 17, 2019
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