Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I wanted to wait until I had my tax bills, pencil and calculator in hand before commenting. (They arrived Saturday but I wasn't home.) For OCS, it comes to a 2.7% increase over last year (slightly more than reported in the article.) For Schodack, it is an increase of 3.8% over last year (although overall the OCS bill is 56% higher than the one for Schodack). However neither is over the 2% tax cap. I must need to sharpen my pencil and get a new calculator. Or maybe this is "new math?"

The Schodack newsletter explains it this way: "the law requires school districts to use an eight-step formula to determine how much they can increase their tax levy by. As a result, most school districts can raise their tax levies by more than 2% and still be within the tax cap.The reason is the state’s formula allows exemptions for certain school expenditures that are outside a district’s control – such as contributions to the state retirement system – as well as allowances for growth in a community’s tax base. In Schodack CSD, the state allows the district to increase its tax levy by 2.47% and still be within the cap. The district decided to raise the tax levy by that amount to reduce the level of cuts that would be required to programs." 
OCS newsletter says "The Board of Education has adopted a budget that contains a ZERO percent increase to the tax levy. This does not mean that each individual tax bill will remain unchanged from last year."
But I am just being funny, not really expecting a comprehensible explanation. Reconciling the much-touted 2% with reality reminds me of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

No comments: