Finally the mystery of where our property taxes go has been demystified.
Star reporter Beau Yarbrough authored an in-depth article that delves deeply into where the money goes and why so little goes directly to the City of Hesperia.
Specifically, the city actually only receives 1.59 percent of property taxes generated by Hesperia property owners. The lion's share — 29.50 percent — goes to the Hesperia Unified School District.
In fact, a surprising amount of our property tax money goes elsewhere. More than 21 percent goes to a state education fund called Education Revenue Augmentation, and the county gets 14.23 percent.
The City of Hesperia, which is one of several agencies receiving veritable slivers, also trails the Hesperia Fire Protection District, Victor Valley Community College, Hesperia Recreation and Park District and Flood Control Zone 4.
Hesperia's 1.59 percent equates to $440,000 of the city's $19.3 million general fund.
How does Hesperia stack up to our neighbors? It doesn't. Victorville gets 4.7 percent, Apple Valley receives 9.4 percent and Barstow, 9.65 percent.
But before you get too sad, Hesperia at least brings in more actual revenue from our property tax allotment than poor Adelanto. Adelanto, which gets a paltry 1.75 percent, brings in only $150,000 of property tax.
"The residents sit down with their tax bill ... they think that all goes to the city," said Adelanto City Manager Jim Hart. "And so then they start looking around Adelanto saying, 'Well, you've got all this property tax money, why aren't you providing a better level of police, or why aren't the parks in shape?"
It's sad to see that Lt. Col. Thomas Jahnke will be leaving Sultana High School after seven years of serving (and more teaching JROTC programs at other area schools).
Col. Jahnke is one of those men who really make an impact on people's lives. Through the JROTC program, he teaches leadership, discipline, teamwork and individual responsibility. Some of his students are already self-motivated and have their sights set on a career in the military. More commonly, however, students aren't sure of themselves or their lives that lie ahead. Through JROTC young people find purpose and direction.
Col. Jahnke is the guide that gently pushes them into the right direction.
We're sorry to see you go, Col. Jahnke. Good luck with your future pursuits!