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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters: Charleston should tighten belt, not raise property taxes again

City Council taxes letters

Charleston City Council approved raises for council members Oct. 26. Now city officials are considering a tax rate increase to balance the 2022 budget.

Charleston City Council’s potential property tax increase would be the second hike proposed in a year.

Where are the fiscal responsibility and stewardship of our elected officials?

They treat our property tax base as their own personal ATM.

Instead, our city officials could eliminate many of the “feel good” projects and tighten the city’s civic belt like any individual would in similar circumstances.

Many of the homes that attract tourists in the historic district have greatly increased in value due to proper stewardship by the owners.

Do they end up paying a disproportionate portion of property taxes for city services, which may be less of a strain on the city than other areas?

A tax increase of $60 on a $500,000 home translates into $600 for one whose value may have increased to $5 million due to proper maintenance and market forces.

This does not always translate into a similar increase in income, especially for those retirees living on a fixed income.

The best solution is to trim the city’s proposed budget and use the reserve fund for the shortfall. Like any business, decreasing expenses and utilizing increasing tourist income would go a long way toward fiscal responsibility and replenishing the fund.

Fifteen years ago, NoHomeTax.org led a successful campaign to reduce owner-occupied property taxes by one-half.

The organization’s position is that if the government can tax one’s home, then, in essence, one does not own the property but is paying never-ending rent to the government entity.

JACK SIMMONS

Charleston

College isn’t for all

The Wednesday commentary by retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston did not address the elephant in the room.

Every college and university depends on large freshman classes, which bring in much-needed revenue.

Colleges recognize that almost half of the students who start college will not graduate.

One of the reasons they don’t graduate is they should not have been admitted in the first place.

Half of freshmen do not have the reading, writing and math skills to complete four years of college.

High school students and people fresh out of the military with marginal academic ability are accepted so the college can get that freshman year boost of revenue.

If you want to see higher overall college graduation rates, here are a few suggestions.

High school students need to work harder on the fundamental skills of reading comprehension, competent writing and college algebra.

Colleges are referred to as institutions of “higher learning” and should not have to teach these basic skills.

We also should get away from the attitude that everyone should go to college.

Vocational schools should be the norm.

My plumber charged me $150 to change out a kitchen faucet and he lives in a better house than me.

There is nothing wrong with becoming a plumber, or electrician, or auto mechanic.

If we lower college standards because everyone should go to college, then a college diploma is no better than a high school degree.

M.G. SWINDALL

Charleston

Get ships in port

We spent millions on infrastructure to add a new port in Charleston and no one is using it. We are in a shortage of products via the shipping containers.

Am I missing something here? Are we again being held hostage by labor disputes or is there a labor shortage?

Someone needs to put a prod to negotiations and get ships into port and products out to consumers.

ROBERT LANE

Goose Creek

Kudos to Grooms

As a resident of Berkeley County and both a residential and commercial customer of Santee Cooper, I would like to publicly express my appreciation to Sen. Larry Grooms for his relentless and valiant fight to stop the sale of Santee Cooper.

Sen. Grooms went far beyond the call of duty in representing not only the voters in his district but also the citizens of South Carolina.

Via the recorded meetings, I witnessed Sen. Grooms going deep in the trenches, doing battle for what he believes in and what is best for our state.

A sale to an investor-owned utility would have proven to be detrimental to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Thanks to Sen. Grooms for his courageous role in stopping the train wreck.

SAM N. PRATT JR.

Moncks Corner

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