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11/2 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

How quickly the days fly by. All of a sudden we've turned another page on the calendar and it's already November. It seems like we were just talking about summer activities and garden projects, and now conversation has turned to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Tax statements arrived in last week's mail and my brain can't quite wrap around the idea that while our market value declined, taxes increased.

Many of us can't resist the temptation to grouse about and complain about how taxes keep going up, and wonder if we indeed are getting our money's worth.

This year, I actually sat down with the tax statement and read just where all the money goes. And, I have to admit, we are getting our money's worth after all.

For approximately $1,500 per year, funds support Central School District, Chemeketa Community College and Willamette ESD, and provide good and positive education experiences to everyone in MI Town and surrounding areas. When I see the children waiting at the bus stop every morning, I know that I'm helping them to learn what they need to know to become successful adults. Students of all ages who are continuing on with their educations, or returning to school to follow new career paths, also benefit from contributions to Chemeketa, and Willamette ESD helps students with special needs that would otherwise not get extra assistance.

Polk County provides government services for less than $300 per year, our Polk County Fire District No. 1 gives us fire and medical help almost instantly for about the same amount. We would be between a rock and a hard place without these public servants who are always there for us 24 hours every day.

Library services are worth their weight in gold, and cost just pennies. MI Town's cities run smoothly and provide us with good government, clean streets and safe sidewalks for less than $700 per year.

The very small amount we pay for the new 4-H and Master Gardener programs is less than a quick lunch, and provides so many benefits to everyone.

After taking the time to really think about where our tax money goes and all the good things it pays for, I'm not so grumpy after all.

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Mark your calendars for good things this weekend. The Holiday Fair at the Polk County Fairgrounds and Events Center runs Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5-6, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. There, you'll have the opportunity to see offerings from more than 100 exhibitors, as well as meet 4-H Ambassadors and Master Gardeners. Food is available for purchase.

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Be sure to vote by Tuesday, Nov. 8, and decide on Measure 27-105, which if approved would give independent voters an opportunity to take part in primary elections by changing the three Polk County Commissioners' positions to nonpartisan.

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