Your letters, March 19

March 18, 2014 

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What raise?

I’m pleased to see my local school leaders here in Durham fight back against our state’s latest “solution” to low teacher pay.

Providing a $500 raise – each year for four years – for the top 25 percent of teachers in a school district seems both insulting and arbitrary. Do we really think just one-quarter of public teachers are worthy of this, ahem, windfall?

For a teacher lucky enough to earn $40,000 a year, that $500 represents a 1.25 percent raise. That’s it. That’s just enough extra cash for teachers to buy something they shouldn’t have to: the paper, glue sticks, scissors, pencils, crayons and other teaching materials the schools themselves don’t have the money to provide adequately.

Eric Ferreri

Durham

No sympathy

I found myself irritated as I read the letter “Tax hike ahead” (N&O, Feb. 26). The writer complained about his pending tax under the new laws. He revealed that the North Carolina tax he and his wife will pay is going to rise from $185 in 2012 to $900 for 2013. He revealed that their income comes from Social Security, IRAs and his wife's state pension. He also revealed that they have been able to itemize deductions as opposed to taking the standard deduction.

Oh, woe is us!

Based on all the writer revealed, he seems close to getting a free ride even with what seems a substantial income. They are even able to pay into an N.C. college fund, presumably for their grandchildren.

The income for my wife and me comes from Social Security and a single 401(k) plan. We have no pensions. We can't itemize. But we paid just over 10 times the North Carolina tax that the writer paid for 2012! No sympathy is due for him. He might have been very good at tax avoidance, but it seems he is going to have to pay a bit more of his fair share now. What's wrong with that?

Baron Adams

Durham

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