How About a ‘Child Tax’ to Fund Teacher Pay Raises?
In the wake of Saturday's landslide defeat of a proposition that would have increased Bossier Parish property taxes to fund teacher pay raises, a number of alternative proposals have been made in an attempt to increase the salaries of educators. But none of those struck a chord like the KEEL listener who suggested - perhaps tongue-in-cheek, perhaps not - a parish-wide "child tax."
"I have a simple solution for funding an increase in Bossier Parish teacher’s pay. They should implement a mandatory “Child Tax”. Parents and legal guardians living in Bossier Parish should be assessed $600 a year for each child under 18 years old. Of course many parents and guardians will scream and holler about this tax, so allow them to have the option of only paying $50 a month per child. If they continue to complain, simply keep repeating the common rationalization, “It’s for the children.” Since school board propaganda said most residents would only pay a little more each year, just ask the complaining parents and guardians if their child is worth another $1.64 a day. Should they claim poverty, just tell them to pay the child tax instead of their family’s smart phone bills. Otherwise they will need to get blood banks to start paying for plasma again, and allow children to sell their plasma every ten days or so.'
'"Of course there must be stiff penalties imposed when parents and guardians fail to pay this child tax. So failure to pay should prevent their children from being provided free text books, prohibit them from sitting at school desks, prohibit them from asking any teacher a question, prohibit them from riding a school bus, required them to spend their recesses sweeping and mopping floors, they are only eligible to receive a cup of warm water and one small bowl of cold gruel for lunch, and a child should be forced to graduate if their assessment has not been paid for six accumulative years.'
"Parents should definitely be required to pay a child tax because they are the ones creating massive problems by having children. One analogy is vehicles damage roads, so the drivers of those vehicles must pay a fuel tax. And a Child Tax would effectively solve several problems. First, it will enable Bossier teachers to receive the pay raise they are demanding while witnessing some of the unintended harm it causes to society. Second, many parents would decide to either leave or not move to Bossier Parish, therefore minimizing expenses associated with excessive growth of the school system. Third, many residents will decide to have fewer or no children, therefore making it easier for the school system to manage future budgets by gradually reducing the number of employees."
But then, the sender couldn't help but give his Swiftian intentions away by suddenly waxing serious:
"On a serious note, the Bossier Parish school system has been steadily collecting an increasing amount of money for many years. Prices for almost everything people buy have been increasing due to inflation, so residents must pay proportionate increases in sales taxes for each item they purchase. Properties are routinely assessed higher values every few years (and when a building permit is issued), which brings in more in property taxes even when the millage remains the same. The state government has increased taxes, allowing it to send additional money to the public school systems. The federal government has sent an ever increasing amount of money to school systems. Although the feds are able to do this by just increasing the national debt, this contributes to inflation which negatively affects all of us. So, if the school board had continued to allocate the same percentage of their total annual revenue to salaries, those increases in tax revenue would have provided yearly pay increases for their faculty and staff."
A number of ideas have come to the fore in only 72 hours following the election. But, one thing's for sure: The vast majority of Bossier property owners balked at the substantial increase suggested and rumors persist that parish teachers will hammer home their insistence on a raise by staging some sort of job action.