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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Upstateblog.net

Taxes-Taxes-Taxes

New York State
What a Dilemma!
Click on the headline, read, and get a headache......

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably the most important part of the Upstate Blog, to those of us in the area!

"In Steuben County: The fate of second-grade teachers' aides hangs in the balance in Painted Post, the Corning Leader reports in its story on that school district's budget plan. Oh, yeah: The plan will increase taxes by 5.8 percent, which is about twice the rate of inflation. The story does not say how much the budget plan would increase spending.

The story also gives readers some helpful information about a second school-tax increase that taxpayers in Painted Post may soon face.

While a 5.8 percent tax increase is in line with other school districts in the area, that is not the only tax increase facing residents of the Corning-Painted Post school district.
A month after the budget vote, residents will also be asked to vote on a $60.2 million facilities plan. The plan calls for the renovation of Northside Blodgett and Corning Free Academy middle schools and the conversion of a building on Canada Road currently owned by Corning Inc. into a third middle school.
Board Vice President Judith Dwyer said "most people understand they are two separate things. That's why they are presented at two different times. Operating costs do go up. Health care is a big problems that's making the operating costs go up. We also haven't done capital investment for a while, except for maintenance."
. . . .
Voters will go to the poll to vote on the district budget and school board candidates on May 17. The vote on the district's facilities plan will be held June 21."

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Put the Brakes On said...

In Thursday’s Corning Leader Sylvia Huber, president of the Corning Area United Taxpayers Association, was quoted, ”The increase in the (C-PP) budget has nothing to do with the quality of education in the district. It only guarantees greater salaries and fringe benefits for teachers and staff.”

In today’s Corning Leader Bob Recotta explains in more detail where the district is spending $69.1 million and why next year’s budget carries a $4.6 million increase from the current year.

• 51% are salaries tied to agreements
• Fringe benefits account for another 25% of budget
• Next year’s budget increases are tied to salaries and benefits

Next year employee benefits will cost $17.6 million, an increase of $2.7 million.
Salaries will cost the district $35.3 million, $1.79 million more than last year.

If benefits and salaries are taken out of the equation, the increase in district spending is $706,000, with almost half of that coming from an increase in BOCES spending.

C-PP Superintendent Judith Staples said, “I’m not really aware of hardly any new spending. The increases next year are due mainly to utilities, insurance, regular operating costs and contractual obligations.”

Although there is some new spending on the table:
• One teacher in the gifted and talented program was being switched from part time to full time.
• Two new positions, a dean of students and a guidance counselor are being proposed at C-PP West.
• 12 second-grade teaching assistants were voted back in the budget.

Natural gas and gasoline expenditures went up.

The New York State Retirement System
• Payments into the employee’s retirement system increased by $125,740.
• Payments to the teacher’s retirement system increased by $687,957.
• The rate the NYSRS system has increased dramatically, from 10% to 12%. The district’s share went from 6 to 8 % just this year. The district hopes this is the last year for rate increases for retirements.

It appears Sylvia was right.

Years ago, the National Education Association, (teacher’s union) guaranteed that if states paid teachers salaries comparable to corporations the standard of education would rise. This did not happen. In fact, it went the other way. Nationally, trillions of dollars have been spent on our education system, and today we rank educationally almost dead last among industrialized nations. I can safely say that “throwing money” at a system does not guarantee positive results. It’s time for another “Boston Tea Party.”

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much of the tax increase goes to pay the salaries and benefits of the School Administrators? Are their salaries/benefits justified? Is anyone really worth the amount of money that they are paid? Does the School District need that many Administrators? How much do they contribute directly to the quality of our children's education ? Think about it.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Let's put it this way: I wouldn't keep paying a plumber a $100 an hour to install leaky pipes, but that's exactly what we do in public education. We keep paying teachers and administrators exhorbitant salaries and getleaky kids. New York State is going to hell in a handbasket. There's a mass exodus out of state, no new jobs are being created and we are the highest taxed state in the union. Yet the NEA, National Educators Association, is sueing the Bush administration for underfunding the No Child Left Behind Act.Why are they suing? Bush appropriated the largest increase (40%) in education funding...ever. Money isn't the problem, it never was. There's something systemically wrong with our public eduction. The system doesn't work and hasn't been working for years. Parents with kids in school must get off their duffs and get involved and stop this outrageous, out-of-control system. I don't begrudge anyone from earning a decent wage, but I expect them to provide a quality product or service for that wage. And now the NEA is sueing the very Act that assures all American kids will receive a proper education. Somethings very wrong here. Remember this fact: 80% of all NEA members are Democrats. Most of the union dues they collect is given to the Democratic Party to get Democrats elected to office. Why? Because Democrats are huge advocates for "unions". And what do unions fight for? Higher wages, and plenty of perks/fringe benefits. See any reference to union dues going to advocate quality education? The NEA is a powerful lobby group. And it is extremely political. Had John Kerry been elected, they would have gotten more money for No Child Left Behind. Would that money have gone to the kids? You decide.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately-if you are a Republican and a member of NEA-protests about the use of your "dues" being used to fund and support "Democrat" candidates fall on deaf ears. Worse-the two teachers unions are in the process of joining forces. Lookout school tax payers.

7:08 PM  

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