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Dear Decaturish – It is time to provide relief for Decatur homeowners

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Dear Decaturish – It is time to provide relief for Decatur homeowners

A city schools of Decatur bus. Photo from CSD Facebook page.

A city schools of Decatur bus. Photo from CSD Facebook page.

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Dear Decaturish,

Decatur passed the Homestead exemptions for seniors. Now it is time to provide relief for the homeowners that must still pay for the schools. I stated in an earlier letter that I have a proposal.


One of the reasons that our city is so desirable is our schools. It is a great place to build homes because there is no need to worry about building parks, swim clubs or golf clubs. Builders  are able to concentrate on building and selling homes and apartments without these added costs. According to the information from our latest bond referendum, it will cost $10,000 per student to build a new school.

I propose that this is paid for at least in part through an educational impact fee. The fee would be $10,000 per new bedroom that is permitted to go solely to the construction of schools and the repayment of school bonds

Why should the taxpayers fund the required construction of new schools by themselves? The $10,000 only pays for  one school. We also need middle schools and high schools for the occupants of these bedrooms and these will still have to be paid by us. I propose that in a city where houses can sell for $600,000 to over $1,000,000, where apartments can rent for $2,000 to $3,000 that is a reasonable course of action.


Every person that sells a home or commercial building in Decatur receives a “Decatur Price “. Why? Again our schools are a large factor. The same building 10 feet  just outside the city limits sells for substantially less. I propose a 1 percent tax on the sale of all real estate in the city to go towards the school operating budget. The increase in price we receive when we sell is far greater than this small contribution to our schools.

Draconian? Too much taxation?  Not if you want to share in the cost of the benefits of our school system. We can no longer afford to offer high quality education based solely on property taxes. Each builder that makes a living from our community, each property owner that sells and leaves, benefit from what we have built and support. Shouldn’t they help to support their good fortune?

– Spencer Hostetter