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Letter: Forced charity

EDITOR:

The East Fork Swimming Pool District Board of Trustees, together with district management, is currently budgeting for the coming fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2001. As a public service district, this process involves estimating expected expenses and adjusting revenue sources to cover these expenses. There are two revenue sources: the user fees charged for facility usage and the ad valorem tax levied on the value of all real estate in the district.

Apparently, a past board budgeting policy currently being followed has dictated that the required revenue, over and above current user fee revenue, be raised exclusively by adjusting the ad valorem tax rate. Changes in user fees are excluded from budget consideration as a discretionary revenue source. While one third of district revenue is generated by user fees and two thirds by the ad valorem tax, the pool users represent less than 20 percent of the district’s East Fork Township population. Thus, pool users are highly subsidized by the district’s generous taxpayers because of current board policies.

Inasmuch as swimming pool operation is a very energy-intensive business, the district is anticipating a substantial increase in operating costs for the coming year. Therefore, I feel it timely that the public express its approval of an increasing user subsidy policy and that pool users thank their neighbors for the forced charity.

The purpose of this letter is to invoke public interest and participation in how your money is appropriated and spent. Your comments on this subject should be directed to the board of trustees at their next meeting on March 15, 7 a.m., and/or in writing to them at the East Fork Swimming Pool District, 1600 Highway 88, Minden 89423.

Bernie Benz

EFSPD trustee

March 7