Commentary: Everyone pays real estate taxes for education

This email is in response to the letter appearing in Sunday’s edition of the Delaware State News from Carol Draine, a resident of Millsboro. (“Everyone should pay”) It is obvious Ms. Draine has never been a landlord, and she obviously has no idea how a landlord goes about setting the monthly rent.

This obvious lack of knowledge of what goes into the process, must be what makes folks, like Ms. Draine, think tenants pay no real estate taxes.

I AM a landlord. Have been for more than 60 years. I assure you Ms. Draine, tenants, not the landlord, pay the real estate taxes, and every other expense associated with the rental property.

A landlord makes a list of the amount for all expenses that the landlord will incur in order to provide a safe, well-maintained home for their tenants. For example, mortgage, gas, electric, water, garbage, insurance, real estate and other county/local taxes/fees, property upkeep/maintenance, plus an emergency fund for the unexpected, such as a tenant moving, with no prior notice, without paying their rent. Remember, bills must be paid on time by the landlord, even if the tenant does not pay rent.

After all the out-of-pocket expenses are added up, the landlord then adds a percentage on to that monthly cost for his/her pocket. It is the landlord, not the tenant, who takes care of all administration, pays all invoices, arranges for all maintenance, is on-call whenever a tenant calls, in order to provide a proper rental for a tenant to live and raise their family.

Trust me Ms. Draine, ALL tenants pay real estate taxes. And here’s more to think about, I do not live in the district where my tenants pay the real estate taxes. As I am not a legal resident where I own rental property, I am not eligible to vote in local elections. My tenants ARE residents of the town where they reside, pay the real estate taxes, and therefore are entitled to vote on issues that impact their lives and the lives of their children.

Finally, to one more point in your letter. You did NOT pay the taxes to educate your children. You could never afford to pay the amount of taxes it would take to build the facilities needed to educate your children. When your children were ready to go to school, the schools were already there waiting for them. That means, many generations before your children entered through the school house door, paid to erect and maintain the wonderful free education that your children received.

You and I, as senior citizens are now paying forward, so that the United States can continue to provide a free education to all of its children, whenever they are ready to enter through those precious school house doors well into the future.

Stephanie Angelis is a resident of Seaford.

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