Monday, March 17, 2008

C.A.N.T.: Group Files Papers to Fight Tax Levy

No they CAN'T. Or at least, they shouldn't. So says Citizens Against New Taxes -- CANT -- the brainchild of former higher ed administrator turned real estate investor Allan Rogers, who last week filed formal organization papers with the county clerk to oppose the Columbia Public Schools April 8 tax levy.

CANT may be a first -- a group, rather than an individual, coming out against a school district tax hike.

"I consider the levy a taxpayer bailout, pure and simple," Rogers -- a 32-year Columbia resident -- told the Heart Beat. "The school district doesn't manage the money it has. They hired a bunch of people they couldn't afford to pay and now they want the taxpayers to bail them out."

Rogers says the district's approach is "almost like plagiarism. It's a repeat of previous levy sales jobs from 2003 and other year's past, where instead of managing their money, district officials go to taxpayers with that old bromide that more money equates to a better education."

Rogers said he's always supported public schools. "I sent two children through public school. But I'm looking at a tax rate that has skyrocketed over the last decade, on top of assessed valuations, and I'm not seeing how it's all added up. Looking at the number of students who drop out of school in Columbia tells me that more money doesn't add up to better education."

If you are interested in joining or helping CANT, contact Allan Rogers at 573-449-2479.

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