To the editor:
This week, I received the real estate tax statement for our home. Tracking this and other expenses over the past years, I plugged the assessment amount into my spreadsheet. Other figures I have been tracking include my projected Social Security statements I started getting in the year 2000 that tell me what the amounts would be when I retire. My calculations illustrate some very scary and dangerous projections for those of us who will soon be dealing with fixed incomes as many people already do today.
In 2000, the real estate tax amount was only $25.36 more than my projected 2000 Social Security monthly check would have been. Today the real estate tax amount in the statement I just received is $539.84 more than my monthly projected 2006 Social Security statement listed for this year. Over that 2000-2006 period, that is a tax increase of 61.1 percent against 21.7 percent for Social Security. Folks, this really scares me. The tax assessment system is absolutely out of control!
Unless something is changed, such as a special tax cap for retired folks at 65, those of us not yet retired will somehow scrape the funds together to pay this exponential tax growth. But when retirement comes, unless we all have half a million dollars or more saved for retirement, things will really get bad. Lawrence is a very expensive place to live. Several years ago, my cousin retired and promptly moved out of Lawrence because he simply couldn't afford to live here.
Robert J. Vaughan,