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Letter - LP-A residents pay their 'fair share' in taxes

DETROIT LAKES - I have no intention or desire to comment either against or for the school issues that have been aired in the editorial section of any newspapers.

I don't feel that is the place for issues of importance to be determined.

I also do not want to have a "war of words" with any individual. I do however have concerns about a statement made by Mr. Grant Johnson of Maitland, Fla.

He wrote that as resident of Lake Park we contribute very little to the budget of our schools. According to the Becker County Assessor's office, the market value of all property in Lake Park is $30.5 million (yes, that is millions).

Lake Park is approximately 640 acres in size. That equals $47,639 per acre taxable market value. By comparison, 310 acres of choice farmland in Cuba Township has estimated market value of $566,400. As we all know, these values are based on sales of similar property in the area. In other words, it may not be what it is worth, but what you and I are willing to pay.

While that may not seem fair if you have no intention of selling, those are the guidelines used. The taxes on our house and lot in Lake Park are $7.37 per thousand dollars of estimated market value.

The 310-acre tract in Cuba Township yields $4.34 per thousand dollars of estimated market value.

A $435,000 home on Big Cormorant pays $7.15 per thousand dollar of estimated market value.

This seems too fair and equitable, as the landowner is going to pay a higher rate on his buildings and building sites. By choosing to live in Lake Park, we have an obligation to pay for police protection, water, sewer and many other services Lake Park provides its residents.

We also pay the same rate as anybody else for county infrastructure, and I don't have a problem with that. It does appear to me everybody is paying their "fair share."

While it is true that non-resident property owners may pay more taxes because of non-homesteaded property, that is because they, too, have a choice of where they want to live. -- John Warling, Lake Park