We are trying to raise our children to be productive members of society. We are hoping to raise the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs on the heels of the current “entitlement” generation. There is no such thing as a free lunch and we want our children, especially, to know that there is a world out there in desperate need of accountability in the form of responsible adults.
EVERYONE that is not a productive and responsible member of society is a burden on society. It’s not about just providing for yourself or your family’s basic needs. It’s about a moral obligation to not be a burden on someone else and to leave behind a better place; something for your great-grandchildren.
So how does one not become a burden? One obvious answer is to avoid all forms of public assistance and pay your taxes. Another, not so obvious, answer is to search out ways to lessen the tax burden imposed by you. In an effort to explain what I mean, I will give three examples.
You pay your biennial registration for your mode of transportation: car, truck, SUV, van, etc. You have paid for your use of public roads and bridges, including the maintenance and upkeep, for the duration of the registration period. The wear and tear your automobile puts on the roads and bridges is figured into that registration fee. By avoiding those registration fees and driving with expired tags, you’re burdening society with wear and tear on those roads and bridges that you haven’t paid for. It’s stealing. It’s dishonest.
Ownership & property taxes
Property taxes, while they may be outrageous, pay for EMS, police, and fire service. Many fire departments used to have a list of those who were current on their taxes and those who were not. If your house caught fire and the trucks showed up, but you hadn’t paid your taxes, they would watch it burn. That’s not the case anymore. If you don’t pay your property taxes, you are increasing other property owners’ tax burdens to provide your residence, and theirs, with these invaluable services. While you hope you won’t ever need to rely on these services, they are paid for when you pay your property taxes.
Communities have an obligation to insure that its members have access to an education so that they can get jobs for its own sustainability. This is the public education system. Obligation does not mean responsibility. It is not the community’s responsibility to see that every child attends a public school. It is the parents’ responsibility to see that their children are educated. Public education is paid for, in part, by property taxes.
For the 2012-2013 school year, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District enrolled 14,264 students at a whopping cost of $18,091.92 per student! When it comes to property taxes, each student cost the borough taxpayers $3,709.53. The remaining $14,382.39 is from federal, state, and “other.” (Information obtained from http://www.k12northstar.org/sites/default/files/2012-13fingertipfacts.pdf) I know that not everyone pays almost $5000 in property taxes every year, so if you are a property owner with only ONE school age child AND your property taxes are less than or equal to $3709.53, you’re already “upside down” and your child’s public education is a burden!
What can a parent do to lessen their children’s education burden? You can opt to send your children to a private school. Private school tuition is far less than the $18,091.92 that the FNSBSD spends per student. Far North Christian School charges tuition at most, $3850 to educate Pre-K and K, and $2800 per Grade 1 -12 student. They also offer discounts when enrolling multiple students. By choosing to enroll your child or children in a private school, you erase your children’s public education burden.
What if you can’t afford or don’t like private school? The other option is to independently homeschool. By taking full responsibility for your children’s education, whether you have one child or many, independently homeschooling means that you also take 100% of the financial burden. Our family chose this option. For our six children, we relieved $22,257.18 from our neighbors’ property taxes. ($3709.53 x 6) We erased their overall public education burden (federal, state, local, and “other”) in the amount of $108,551.52 for the 2012-2013 school year! ($18,091.92 x 6)
A society cannot bloom and prosper with thieving and dishonest ideologies. Every choice we make has an impact. Everything we do has both an immediate and a long-term effect. In choosing the moral high ground, you are leading by example. By choosing to be a responsible and productive member of society, you are not only relieving a burden, but also planting the seeds of prosperity for the next generations.