The retired couple from Saco can no longer afford property taxes (“Saco might join few Maine towns that let elderly defer taxes, keep homes,” May 5). They’ve got it right: Selling the property and moving to Florida is the right thing to do.

Property taxes hurt those who can least afford it. Just look at Portland, which is becoming a city of haves and have-nots while it destroys those in the middle.

Retired seniors have been accused of “generational theft” in an opinion column (“M.D. Harmon: Government steals from the young to give to the elderly,” Oct. 25, 2013), yet the average Social Security check is $1,269 per month, which averages only $7.32 an hour. The real theft is by our public officials.

Where was the outcry when the University of Maine System allowed a $40,000 increase for its chief financial officer (which equals a $30,000 lift in her Maine State Retirement check, paid in part by Maine taxpayers)?

Where was the outcry when Portland Public Schools spent a $1 million-plus surplus under the direction of its CFO? In business, a CFO pulling a stunt like that would have been fired.

The money we’re taxed should be spent with discretion. Real property tax relief would suggest that a city could tax retirees only the percentage of what they’ve gained in retirement funds. I’d have no problem with paying the property tax increase based on the whopping increase of 1.3 percent in retirement funds over the last few years. Retirees cannot be expected to dig deeper into their disposable income.

The state should also look at a total refund for the school tax for retirees and deduct it from what it sends to local town offices. Portland is moving in the same direction as Detroit. It is time to say, “I will not take it anymore” and contact your local elected officials!

Art Sears

Portland