As you report (“Saco might join few Maine towns that let elderly defer taxes, keep homes,” May 5), Saco is considering a program that would allow people 70 or older who have owned their home for at least 10 years to defer property taxes, until they sell or die.

Payment of property taxes is just one way we manage to make ourselves miserable. There is, in fact, no logical reason why one should be required to pay money in proportion to the value of one’s home. Are we trying to make homeownership more difficult by making it more costly? That may make sense in the case of cigarettes, but why should it apply to owning or improving a home?

If each person paid for the services that he or she required, property taxes could be eliminated entirely. We already attempt to implement this principle with respect to road use, where payment in the form of gasoline tax or tolls is designed to cover the damage caused by using a road.

I look forward to the day when government is designed to minimize the misery of its citizens. However, that day is far off when one group can legally extract money from another. And the imposition of property taxes is just one of many ways such an extraction occurs.

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island


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