Wednesday, June 04, 2008

THIS Is a Solution?

The state's Commission on Property Tax Relief has finally made some "Preliminary Findings and Recommendations" to the Governor, nicely summarized in the Post-Standard.
Why are taxes so high?
1. New York schools spend more per student than any other state in the country - a total of $18,768, about 50 percent more than the national average. . . .
The solutions offered:

1. Place a cap on property taxes to keep them from rising more than 4 percent annually. Voters could choose to override the cap.

2. Create a "circuit-breaker" program by redirecting $2 billion from the existing STAR program to people who pay the largest portion of their income in property taxes.

3. Reduce unfunded mandates by requiring the state Legislature and Education Department to propose revenue sources to cover the cost of any new directives.

This is a sham - Bait and Switch. It's not a cap on taxes, its a cap on annual growth of taxes. It's Business as Usual! Generous increases are still allowed. Whatever happened to the 2% constitutional limit (that government could never take more than 2% of the value of your property) that we once had? School taxes alone exceed that in my district.

The most troubling aspect of this report is that it ignores the obvious:

If New York State schools are spending more per student than schools in every other state, and are spending 50% more than the national average, then tax relief could easily come if NY Schools would

Spend Less.

But spending less is no where suggested in the report. Heaven forbid there should be an analysis of what schools are doing differently now that requires spending in excess of former limits.

It's obvious that the Suozzi group caved in to the Teachers Union and education cartel (including book sellers, technology marketers, architects, and construction firms who have gotten rich from school spending).

Same old, same old.

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