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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Getting back at the board?

I can't help but wonder whether the defeat of the proposed Kingston school district budget on Tuesday was, at least in part, the result of last year's deception about property taxes.

You may recall that, a year ago, the Kingston school board announced the proposed 2007-08 budget for the district would increase the overall property tax levy by 3 percent. What trustees neglected to announce, until more than three months after that budget was approved, was that the actual tax rate for homeowners in the city of Kingston would rise by 7.6 percent. (Residents of other, smaller communities in the school district incurred smaller increases.)

The current board would be foolish to think that voters -- at least those in the city of Kingston -- aren't still angry about last year's tax hike. And on Tuesday, that anger may have been enough to send the 2008-09 budget to defeat.



Blogger Susan said...

I agree. No one is sure where all these tax hikes will end especially with the recent property assession and the planned shift of the tax burden from commercial to residential property owners. It is time to get our State Legislators to move on a plan which changes the way that education in this state is funding. In the meanwhile, everyone, including the schools need to pull in their belts!

May 21, 2008 at 1:14 PM 
Blogger Mike said...

Same old story. And what really happens here is that our schools are going to suffer. Especially an old Kingston High School that is in desperate need of repair. The part that most don't understand is that the teachers will still get their money because it's nogotiated by their union and they are under contract, so the schools will pay along with our students when they cut programs, put off needed repairs, and eliminate jobs that aren't protected. This state uses such an archaic system to fund its schools and it desperately needs to be changed to an income based tax system where EVERYONE will pay something. Why should a very unfair burden be placed upon the homeowner who can barely afford their taxes now.

May 21, 2008 at 3:00 PM 
Blogger Susan said...

According to their budget, the Capital Component only went up about $1.4 million, but the Program Component was up $5 million. The Administrative Component was up approximately $.5 million. The $5 million is the problem!!! What is costing $5 million more??? There has to be a way to separate out legitimate capital costs and fund them.

May 21, 2008 at 3:22 PM 

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