Property taxes in Jackson County are getting totally out of control! I just got my tax statement yesterday and my real market value figures stayed almost the same (total RMV went up only $600), but Jackson County's "assessed value" went up by nearly $8,000! That increase and the school district's new bond (which is based on "assessed value") raised my property taxes by $431! Medford School District 549C — new bond — was $327.48 of that increase.

Now, I don't have a real extravagant home ... it's actually a manufactured home on five acres on Highway 238 just past Cady Road ... nothing fancy. It is a shame that Jackson County is basically holding a gun on you and me to pay for their many extravagant, overblown and overpriced projects.

Jackson County, you are killing us. We are tired of more and more taxes, every time we turn around. This is highway robbery. Citizens, check over you tax bill ... it is ugly! — Allen Stewart, Jacksonville

I just wanted to say that the work done on the Central Point Cemetery is such an improvement. I'd drive by with my children and we'd notice its deteriorating shape and say "Something should be done about it." And something was.

It was great to be part of the crowd of people raking and leaf-blowing and buzzing chain saws. My young children even got into the work and there is one tombstone no longer covered in dirt and moss — you can see it is gray marble now — thanks to my two sons. I was glad to help and so glad lots of other people were helping too. Thank you! — Valerie Harmon, Central Point

Thanks for allowing me to vent the huge lump of dissatisfaction with the way tax dollars are being wasted by the State Department. This is in reference to the $1.2 billion dollar contract in support of training Iraqi police.

OK, the Iraqi police need to be trained, but why must the United States provide all the money? The first thing we need to teach the Iraqi people is that they are responsible to manage their country's needs.

This is tax time here in the United States. And we are squeezing our own people in support of government spending.

Think about it, $1.2 billion before we touch any programs here in the need of help. The worst part, there is no accountability for the money. I say it's time to take off the soft gloves and insist on exact lists, itemized, requiring our financial support.

If this implies I don't trust the way our money is being spent, you are right. — Bill Withrow, Eagle Point

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