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I don't want to pay for you

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I totally agreed with the sentiment in this letter from a senior citizens group angry about possible education property tax hikes, especially because most seniors haven't had kids in school for decades.

I don't have kids, so I don't really want to pay school taxes, either. My friends have kids, but that's their problem. Most of them can afford to send their tykes to SJR or Balmoral Hall. It's possible that the crime rate will go up if our schools start to crumble and Canada might get beat worse than it already does in the global knowledge economy, but I can live with that if it means another $800 in my pocket. Nancy, are you listening?

Come to think of it, I don't want my tax dollars going toward health care, either. I'm really healthy. I barely go to the doctor. I guess, to be safe, I should earmark some money for the Health Sciences Centre — that's the closest hospital to my neck of the woods. If I get in a car crash, I'd probably end up at HSC, but I don't really want my tax dollars going toward one of those far-flung hospitals like Seven Oaks. And, OMG, why am I paying for a new MRI in Brandon that I will NEVER USE?

Hey, how much could I save on my provincial income tax if I quit paying for home-care and subsidised personal-care homes for seniors? If I'm lucky, it will be another 40 years before I need any of that. Let me just get radical here and say that I don't want to pay for any service for anyone over 55 until I retire.

Also, I don't really use any of the city's 70-odd community clubs — just the West Broadway one near me. So, I'm going to call my city councillor and see if Jenny can knock a few bucks off my property tax bill. Why am I paying for a community club in the Maples? And, while I'm talking to her, I'm going to see if the city can quit wasting money plowing the sidewalks. I just bought a really cute new pair of Sorels with great grips, so I don't care if the sidewalks are clear.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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