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Keith Sash

August 20, 2017
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in regard to Superintendent Dave Hill's article in last week's paper. Let me start by saying I personally think Superintendent Hill is a very honest man and a great superintendent. I have a lot of trust in what Dave says and I also believe that if GR would have had Mr. Hill as a superintendent five years sooner the GR school district wouldn't be having the problems it has now and the upcoming vote would not be happening.

In Superintendent Hill's article he shows an example of the tax rate of all the school districts involved in the upcoming vote. I believe this rate is true for the present year but Dave implied that if the dissolution vote passes most of our taxes would go up. I disagree with this statement. Addressing just the GMG School, this would be far from the total fact. GMG would receive the following tax base which would allow them to lower their tax rate. The following figures are based on my farm in Lincoln Township using the figures on the tax statement we just received and the rate that goes to GR which is $13.98 per acre. I assume most land in the GR School District would compare with a similar rate.

GMG would receive 56 sections of Ag land which would amount to 35,840 acres. At GR's present rate of $13.98 per acre that would amount to $501,760 in Ag tax revenue. Add to that figure the City of Gladbrook's school tax based on Tama County tax valuation for 2017-18 school year amounts to $23,431,878 times tax rate of $11.13507 per thousand equals $260,905. Add these taxes together for a total yearly tax revenue of $762,665.

This doesn't include anything for Ag improvement on the land, namely house, machine shed and grain and livestock facilities which should raise another $100,000 to $200,000 more. The tax revenue that would go to GMG would be $800,000 to $1,000,000 per year that would be added to their operational expense and should lower their tax rate in years to come. Dike and all the other neighboring school districts should have similar results based on the land they would acquire. I think this is a fairer and more accurate comparison than what Superintendent Hill used.

We always hear how great of an education the students of GR get and while this is true, all of the surrounding schools also provide just as good an education from just as high quality staff. We also hear that we should think of the kids and keep them together. The fact is that when these students graduate from high school most of them will go their separate ways and they will go on to be very successful adults making new friends, starting their own careers and families. That is what we as parents have raised and trained them to do along with the excellent teachers from every school they attend.

We citizens must think of the future and what is best for our community, not just for the next few years but the future for the next several generations.

Keith Sash, Mayor

Gladbrook, Iowa



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