Your ongoing series of articles about massive tax shifts (tax increases) at municipal levels omits the role of property taxpayers.

It is entirely within the power of the average person, voter and taxpayer to stop the shift altogether. To do so, however, people must remain engaged and take repeated action.

Oppose spending increases by voting no at the annual Town Meeting to stop increases in spending, voting no at districtwide budget meetings to validate a school budget, voting no when the school budget makes it to the polls and attending school board meetings.

Already this year in RSU 18 (Belgrade, China, Oakland, Sidney, Rome), education bureaucrats have gone on record with plans to make up for cuts by Washington and Augusta with higher property taxes, as well as make up for the reasonable budget forced upon them with a third vote last year by frustrated homeowners.

Taxpayers could very well repeat that lesson at the polls this year.

All public revenue streams (federal, state, municipal, school) have the same source: our paychecks or retirement income.

It is time education bureaucrats draft budgets with zero impact on property taxes and make spending cuts, as the rest of us do.

Maine has the oldest demographic of any state, yet bloated school budgets consume 75 percent and more of local property taxes even as enrollment continues to drop.

When we read about massive tax increases, we need to remember we are not powerless. Our actions or lack thereof determine whether we keep more of our money or hand it over to big-spending politicians and bureaucrats at all levels of government.

Art and Laura Smith

Sidney

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