Lesson Learned (December 9)


Abraham Lincoln has been consistently ranked as among the greatest US presidents. He gives us several Lessons Learned. High on his list of remarkable achievements is the fact that President Lincoln granted West Virginia statehood as we remained in the United States of America when Virginia seceded and joined the Confederate States during the Civil War.

I do believe Lincoln, being born in a log cabin, understood us Mountaineers. His mother, Nancy Hanks (1783-1818), was born in what is now West Virginia along Route 50 where a saddleback ridge is prominently marked. She encouraged his education, and he learned to read by a flickering fireplace in their humble frontier log cabin home. When she died in 1818, Abe was nine years old and deeply mourned the loss. Years later, Lincoln would say of his mother: “All that I am, and all that I hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” He was speaking in particular of her drive for his education.

All President Lincoln’s life experiences considered; I believe he thought of future generations of Mountaineers when he wisely said: “God must have loved the common people: He made so many of them.” Who is the common family in Upshur County? Let us subscribe a dollar amount to their property and income:

Using the latest West Virginia numbers for a guide as to who is a “common man/woman,” I discover data from Google. The estimated median household income in 2019 is $42,168. Upshur County compares at $42,168 to West Virginia at $48,850.

I go to the Upshur County Board of Education website. There I find a chart under the business section. This helps my analogy.

The Tax base for the Bond uses the values of property owned in Upshur County. While Income is not used in determining the property taxes for our common man/woman citizens of the county, I can approximately figure the purchases of house, automobile or truck, and raw land that a common citizen is likely to own:

Class II (Residential Homes – Owner Occupied) with the Homestead Exemption:

Market value of residence (Appraised) Value of $100,000 and claiming the Homestead Exemption would have a Bond Tax of $87.60.

The Class III and IV (Cars - Rental/Business Property – Vacant Land) with a Market (Appraised) Value of $40,000 would have a Bond Tax of $105.12

The total new Buckhannon-Upshur High School Bond Tax in this case would be $192.72.

Nancy Hanks, the mother of our 16th President, being a woman of piety and discernment, left an indelible impression on her son. From her, Lincoln is said to have inherited his serious temperament, which was brightened by a spirit of playfulness that was a prominent trait throughout his time of great national service.

So today, I thank Honest Abe for serving as a guide to my community column, aiding my understanding to our School Bond for Upshur County Citizens to build a new Buckhannon-Upshur Career and Technical High School as well as re-imagine our Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

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