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Letters to the editor, April 26

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Denton Record-Chronicle Readers

Store needs to be cleaned

The city of Denton passed rules long ago requiring businesses to erect fences to eliminate eyesores (examples: wrecking yards, recycling centers).

Recently, I had to detour north on Bonnie Brae at Hickory Street. I noticed at the intersection of Oak and Bonnie Brae some kind of secondhand store with all sorts of items sitting out in the rain a little before sunrise. This is across from a retirement center and near one of Denton's hospitals.

I think this property would fall under the city's code enforcement rules for cleanup. If not, it should.

Dan Christian,

Ponder

Ryan right in District 4

Vote for John Ryan for Denton City Council, District 4. John exemplifies the decorum worthy of this position. While he was on council previously, representing the district where our family lives, he faithfully conducted informative monthly town hall meetings. His priority was to ensure that constituents of District 2 were afforded every opportunity to know what was happening in Denton.

The choice for District 4 voters is simple. You can elect a conservative, well-respected businessman and seasoned council person. John Ryan will not embarrass you and will serve Denton well.

Barbara Russell,

Denton

Repairs make hazards

Any time a city crew digs into the street to access a sewer line or take care of some other problem, the repairs are done in a way that causes my shocks and other car parts to rattle and need replacement.

The streets have become a hazard and are never smooth and easy to drive on. You can't go anywhere in town to get away from the work being done on streets. It's everywhere. And no one seems to be aware of just how bad it's become.

Jack Cox,

Denton

Hudspeth thinks of whole city

I am writing to support Gerard Hudspeth's candidacy for Denton City Council in District 1. I have gotten to know Gerard through his work on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Our city is growing, and tough decisions often face P&Z. Gerard is thoughtful and well-spoken, and he listens to citizens. His ability to balance the needs of developers and citizens is impressive.

Gerard has been a homeowner for more than a decade. I'm confident he will take the city in a good direction by respecting the use of our taxes, spending and fees. While I know Gerard Hudspeth will represent the citizens of District 1, I also believe he will think about what is best for the whole city.

Randy Hunt,

Denton

Freeze would benefit only rich

Millennials, aged roughly 18 to 35, are struggling more than any other generation in recent memory.

A 2014 Pew study noted, "Millennials are also the first [generation] in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles."

The proposal to freeze property tax rates for seniors would only add to their burden. Furthermore, it would not benefit the many seniors who don't own homes or those who are disproportionately poorer than seniors as a whole. If anything, they would likely pay more as their rents go up to cover higher taxes. Denton senior homeowners already benefit from a higher homestead exemption. Some relatively poor senior homeowners would benefit from the proposal, but it is not targeted to any proven need, and most of those who would benefit are not poor at all. The ones who would benefit the most are the richest seniors. The amount of money is not the issue. The issue is the principle. Shifting the tax burden to younger generations at the very time when the youngest generation is especially vulnerable is wrong.

Taxes reflect our values as a community. I would support proposals that would benefit poor senior homeowners -- not passing policies that would benefit rich million-dollar homeowners while doing nothing for the homeless, the debt-trapped or the struggling.

Craig Hunter,

Denton

Protect parents, grandparents

Vote for Prop 1 on the May 6 ballot. I am well over the 65 age that this proposition would benefit. I moved from Tarrant County to Denton in 2014 and was flabbergasted that the property tax freeze for senior citizens was not in effect in this county or city. Tarrant County has protected its senior citizens with the tax freeze and it has not hurt the finances of the cities and the county there.

Please keep in mind that eventually we die or move to assisted living and the tax rate on our property will go up when it is sold. So please protect your parents and grandparents from being taxed out of their home. Vote for Proposition 1.

Don Maurer,

Denton

Burdens shouldn't be offloaded

Backers of the proposed tax freeze frame it as a tax break for the disabled and elderly, conflating the two. I am well beyond my 65th birthday and stand to benefit if this proposition passes. However, I oppose it as currently framed. Disabled individuals who are unable to work may be worthy of consideration for tax relief. So are seniors of modest financial means. However, many seniors have sufficient resources and should not offload their tax burden on others of lesser means.

How many tax freeze proponents would still support it if they knew that their own adult children and grandchildren would have their taxes raised so that their senior parents/grandparents could have their city taxes frozen? Denton has many struggling middle-class families burdened with the costs of rearing and educating their kids. Vital city services are paid for by real estate taxes. We should all do our part to pay for these services, subject to our ability to pay.

I've been told by a sitting council member that several years ago the council offered such a tax break idea if it could be based on homes valued up to a certain level and then indexed for inflation. However, proponents, most of whom live in an upscale gated community, were not interested in that approach.

If the current proposition fails, then the council could again consider creating a senior exemption up to perhaps the first $150,000 of value. Please vote "No" on Proposition 1.

Richard Simms,

Denton