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According to the State Dept of Education, making capital [#permalink]
07 May 2005, 19:17
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According to the State Dept of Education, making capital improvements to public school classrooms will improve attendance among the Big City`s public school students. The Dept of Education plans to finance these improvements by raising taxes on properties statewide worth more than $500,000. Although capital improvements to public school classrooms are necessary, the Dept of Education`s plan will unfairly burden wealthy taxpayers, the vast majority of whom send their children to private schools.
Which of the following, if true, would provide the State Department of Education with the strongest counter to the objection that its plan is unfair?
(A) Even with the proposed tax increase, the average amount paid by owners of property worth more than $500,000 will still be less than that paid by comparable taxpayers in the surrounding states.
(B) Any attempt to finance these improvements by raising taxes paid by families of public school students will force many of the city`s poorest students to drop out of school in order to find low paying jobs.
(C) A better nationwide rating for Big City public education will contribute to higher property values for all of the state`s property owners.
(D) The state`s private schools are expensive and overcrowded and many parents of private school students will elect to send their children to public school if the proposed improvements are made.
(E) The only alternative way to fund needed school improvements is for Big City to issue bonds, which will create a significant budget crisis within the next five years.
ID Question Type and Task
The question asks you to "provide the State Department of Education with the strongest counter to the objection", which is presented in the argument this would weaken the argument since the argument is constructed to object to the DOE's plan. The question can therefore be identified as a Weaken Question. The task in a weaken question is to find the assumptions in order to attack/undermine one of them.
Read the Argument and Extract Necessary Information:
The argument states that since collectively homeowners statewide will have to share the more than $500,000 tax increase this will cause an unfair burden on wealthy taxpayers. The argument can be identified as one of the common GMAT arguments and you should be able to pick out the associated . By suggesting a harm (unfair burden) as the result of a particular action (increasing taxes) this indicates a harm/benefit argument and the associated Harm/Benefit assumption that there will be no equal or greater benefit that also results from implementing the plan.
The argument also make the assumption that the individual tax payments will not be negligible.
Formulate an Answer to the Question
To weaken the argument attack any of the assumptions. Either indicate a benefit from the tax increase or show that the individual tax will be negligible.
Eliminate Answer Choices:
(A) Irrelevant. This does not address the assumptions, it simply points out that some homeowners will pay less then homeowners in other states.
(B) Strengthens. This shows additional harm from the plan which would strengthen the objections to the plan.
(C) Keep. Seems to indicate a benefit of implementing the plan.
(D) Keep. Seems to indicate a benefit of implementing the plan.
(E) Keep. Seems to indicate that there is no other way to fund schools thus it supports following the plan (the only way to accomplish the goal).
Compare the Remaining Choices
C compared to D.
Choice C does not clearly and directly address the issue of the financial burden while choice D indicates that the plan will save homeowners who have children in private schools money by giving them savings in other areas (school tuition and fees). This makes D a better answer than C.
D compared to E.
Again E does not directly address the financial burden on homeowners.
I still feel 'C' is a better choice because it says that the proposed plan benefits every houseowner whereas D benefits only those who would want to send their children to public school and still hurt others who would want their children to go to private school.
C) ALL parents that own property have to pay more taxes for their properties. thats unfair. but the value of the properties rises. so its not unfair anymore. note that ALL parents benefit of the higher property values. ALL unfair + ALL higher values = ALL not unfair
D) SOME parents change from private to public school. so SOME parents dont have to pay for the private school anymore. but ALL parents have to pay higher taxes for their property. so for SOME its fair and for SOME, who stay in private school, its not fair. ALL unfair + SOME save fees for private school = SOME not unfair
If your mind can conceive it and your heart can believe it, have faith that you can achieve it.
We need to say that the plan is not unfair. higher taxes may have to be paid because of higher property prices as tareks pointed out.
However,I am not convinced about d. the issue that the plan burdens wealthy taxpayers is not resolved by choosing d.They will still have to contribute and the plan will still be unfair.Nowhere by choosing d have we shown that the plan has become fair.
(C) is out coz, higher property value (if value > $500000) would mean more tax and more wealthy people wud be burdened/ or wealthy people wud be more burdened(in case, the tax increases with the value of the property) ... and hence this point in no way counter teh argument.
To counter the argument, one needs to state something symbiotic ... people with property value > 500000 pay more tax which will be used to fund Public skools or raise their standards and hence the wealthy people can benefit/make-even the money given thru tax by sending their children to Public skools instead of private skools, which are obviously expensive.