LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Safety levy would create hardships

Polk County ranked sixth highest in Oregon out of 36 counties for effective tax rates in fiscal year 2013-2014, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue. According to the Oregon Employment Department, Polk County is in the lowest of four categories for per capita personal income.

Now, the proposed Polk County public safety levy could add 45 cents (per $1,000) to the effective tax rate, moving Polk County up to the second highest in the state. The 45 cents per $1,000 is a whopping 35 percent increase.

Our current total tax rate when you include the county road bond is $2.26 per $1,000 of assessed value, not the $1.72 quoted at public hearings (quoted as the permanent tax rate). And if this levy were to pass, the next time they want a levy, the same $1.72 figure can be quoted by this logic as it is being presented as a five-year levy (temporary, not permanent).

The tax burden is especially onerous to low income homeowners as it takes a greater percentage of their income. The economic stress on families may indeed contribute to the need for more government social and public safety services to solve problems caused by government in the first place.

Public safety takes a whopping 63.72 percent of the general fund, according to the 2014-2015 published Polk County budget. While we appreciate the fine work of the district attorney, juvenile department and sheriff’s office, we need to keep in mind that while their salaries and retirement benefits are growing, it is growing on the backs of the taxpayer, many of whom are still suffering from the effects of the recession.

If they need more money, perhaps they can find a less critical place in the pie to get it.

Rose Bajorins

Falls City

Humans greatest threat to planet

The “teapublicon” party and perhaps too many Democrats seem oblivious to the facts that viable life on our possibly unique and wonderful planet will cease to exist in the foreseeable future due to the multiple abuses by our species.

During the last 500 million years, Earth has had five major extinctions, and now we are quickly advancing into the worst and perhaps final one.

The many causes include mainly the unstoppable world population explosion, the reality of global warming and our exposure to uncountable new and older chemicals, most of which have not been proven safe for humans and other species.

Now, genetically engineered food crops utilizing systemic insecticides threaten our pollinating and most-needed bee populations and is also killing birds, butterflies, fish, etc.

Two of the neonicotinoid insecticides now used are banned in the European Union.

Fortunately, many world seed banks exist, so that when and if GMOs destroy our food supplies they can be restored naturally.

Walden Joura

Dallas

Area senior center extends invitation

I would like to send out a special invitation to all Dallas residents 60 years and older to join the Dallas Area Senior Center.

The fee is only $15 per year. We have wellness classes to improve your health. We have games, play cards and dancing. We have craft day, which is lots of fun. We have movie day once a month with free popcorn, and homemade soup and bread after the movie for only $2. We go to Spirit Mountain Casino once a month. We go on the bus once a month to a fun place and have lunch.

We have received a grant to build a new senior center, and will be starting to build it soon. Join the senior center and be the first to be in the new building to enjoy all the fun we will be having.

We have a monthly newsletter that we mail out to all members so you can be part of all the fun we have.

Stop by the Dallas Senior Center at 955 SE Jefferson St. (we are next to the library) and have a friendly cup of coffee with the volunteers here at the center or call 503-623-8554. We would love to hear from you.

Judy Reid, president

Dallas Senior Center

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