While politicos, pundits, and activists across the country were relishing in the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate after the 2014 midterms (I have a “wait and see” attitude about whether or not this matters in terms of reducing government and increasing individual freedom based on the party’s track record http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/bp87.pdf), the result of a school bond vote in Logan County, Oklahoma captivated my interest, especially after the proposition failed to pass.
The Guthrie School District in Logan County, Oklahoma failed to obtain the required 60% voter approval necessary to pass a proposal for the school district to issue bonds that would have increased property taxes in some areas of the district by 26%!
When people use the anonymity of the ballot box to vote for measures that take resources from one person and redistribute them to another, it is not only immoral but cowardly. There is a better, more peaceful, honest way to fund the things we want in our communities, and that is what is happening in Logan County.
What began as a run-of-the-mill funding scheme for people within the district to anonymously raid their neighbors’ wallets has developed into a beautiful example to the rest of society of how the needs and desires of free people could be met without force. The usual refrain from the skeptics goes like this: “But without government, how would we have ___(insert good idea here)___?” But folks in Logan County are showing us how this can take place…through voluntary charity.
Logan County resident Ric Moore offered this solution, “If the 3,112 yes voters each donated the $500 or so that their property tax would have increased for two years, it would be over $3,000,000, more than was asked for in the bond. All of the bond objectives could be met. The people that want to pay can, and the GPS can have everything they asked for.” This is a brilliant idea. Voluntary donations. No one further violated. People putting their own money where their mouths are.
Former Oklahoma Gubernatorial candidate Dax Ewbank responded to the rejection of the proposition saying, “To everyone in Logan County who voted yes to increase my property tax by 26%, thank goodness there weren’t enough of you to pass it, but sheesh, it was close…I have an idea, instead of stealing from your neighbors to pay for your schools, how about the 3000+ of you just kick in some cash and raise the 2.4 million yourselves? You people act like the only way to fund a school is through extortion. It’d be less than $1000 each, and you were willing to pay it before, why don’t you just do it anyway? And don’t force me to join in. Heck, if you ask nicely, I might even donate some!”
The idea caught on. As Logan County resident Marven Goodman noted, “There are some well-meaning people trying to help with the Guthrie School funding needs and here is the deal. Please make sure that everyone who voted “yes” on the latest school bond proposal has an opportunity to donate the same money they would have paid in taxes, only this is a personal pledge. Now you can get a tax deduction instead of a tax increase and still support the school.”
That’s right. People can make a tax deductible donation to Guthrie Public Schools and, therefore, instead of a tax increase on property owners to fund the school, donors can receive a tax decrease. This looks like a lot of fun. I wonder if people from outside the district will hear of this and send in donations just because they enjoy being charitable with their resources.
The mailing address for donations is:
Guthrie Public Schools
Attn: Superintendents Office
802 E Vilas
Guthrie, OK 73044
Good ideas don’t require force.