PROPERTY TAXES DISAPPEAR – PUBLIC OPINION OF TEACHERS SOARS
I had a dream that teacher salaries and benefits were paid for by money donated from the most incredibly rich person in the world, and taxes were no longer a factor in teacher pay. The public didn’t have to pay one penny for any education expenses, and their taxes had nothing to do with schools. Once the public was no longer responsible for teacher salaries and benefits with their taxes, public opinion of teachers soared to a record approval. An amazing thing happened, the public didn’t care what the teachers’ salaries and benefits were. In fact, the average person thought that teachers had one of the most important jobs in the world, and no salary or benefits could be good enough. $100,000 a year ? $200,000 ? No problem, nothing was good enough for our teachers. No need for lengthy contract talks, no need for local school boards to hold the line. Give those teachers what they deserve, no amount of money is too much.
Unfortunately, I woke up from that dream and found that nothing had changed. Teacher salary and benefits were still paid with property taxes, and the public was in no mood to feel any sympathy for teachers. I can think of only one quick and simple solution to solve this “taxes and teacher public perception problem”. The state needs to pass a law stating that property tax bills which are mailed to the public will not contain the current itemized list of where the tax money goes. The tax bill would not show how much went to local libraries, how much to local schools, etc. The public would have no idea how much of their tax money went to their local school. Ignorance would be bliss. How are you going to complain about the high cost of schools and teachers when you have no clue how much of your taxes went towards education ?
You are probably thinking that such a law would be unconstitutional, and that the public has a right to see where their tax money goes. I say, “nonsense”, we don’t need to worry about any constitutionality. The heck with the Constitution. The state Constitution also said that the legislature was to contribute the State’s share of teacher pension money over the years, and that wasn’t done. We have a tradition of violating the Constitution in Illinois. What’s one more violation among fellow Illinoisans ? Let’s get this done. NO MORE ITEMIZING ON TAX BILLS. It only leads to hostility.