Am I an aged lone voice speaking for retired home owners still living in Pottstown ? We wonder where our tax dollars have gone, where has all the money gone, money which we believed was invested in an improving school system ? Some time ago we learned the Pottstown School District had been put on notice that the High School is one of four Montgomery County Schools in Pennsylvania listed as a low-achieving school.
We oldsters have over the years made huge investments in our school district by paying property taxes yearly on our homes which continue to lose value. The value lost is caused by the market which reflects a buyer's desire not to purchase a home in Pottstown. If you were a buyer would you come to Pottstown and bid up the price of a house so you could bring your kids to a underachieving school system ?
Our local school system is broken. Taxing of property for education is broken. Out of every five dollars of a Pottstown resident's annual taxation, four of those dollars go to the school district. The Pottstown District has been singled out by the state as a poor administrator for the money's invested by "we the people".
My wife and I are caught, as many other old couples are caught, in a home lived in for scores of years as the value of our house, once our largest investment, continues to plummet in value. This is like being caught in a "catch 22" : damned if you stay; damned if you move away.
Being taxed out of your home is a stark reality for many retirees who can no longer work and must rely on social security and their savings until that runs out to pay ever rising school taxes which seems to be wasted by the administration. Just look at the debacle over renovating our elementary schools : overruns in budgeting, under planning in design, but these seem commonplace to administrators since they can tax us, tax us out of our homes. They seem unable to feel our pain. By far, the majority don't live here so they pay their taxes to other school districts.
My true disgust can not be set in printable words for public display. As a graduate of Pottstown's schools, a school board member for four years, a member of Pottstown's Alumni Honor Roll, and in Pottstown's inner circle of governance many years, I am ashamed of my inability to change the direction our hometown has taken. We need elected officials much better then I was able to be. We need to get rid of property taxation paying for education above all else.
Ronald C. Downie