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Weigh in on the Tax Cap and Education

Massapequa school officials say that the tax cap will lead to cuts and possible layoffs. Are we paying too high a price?

New York state's new tax cap is creating headaches for the Massapequa School District. 

Officials say that the two percent cap combined with state mandates are leaving a budget shortfall for the district, currently estimated at $4.7 million.

That's going to lead to cuts. Although Superintendent Charles Sulc, has said he won't cut programs for next year, he can't promise that beyond the 2012-13 budget cycle.

Officials have also hinted that teacher layoffs may be on the table at the next budget discussion in March.

What are your thoughts on these issues? Take our poll below and weigh in with you comments.

John Rennhack February 09, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Massapequa Park has already said they would vote to over-ride the tax cap and I expect TOBAY and other villages to do the same. The state should not impose a tax cap unless unfunded mandates are dealt with first. Shifting costs to schools but telling schools they cannot increase taxes to pay for those costs is not a good idea. The unfunded mandates will then suck up monies that would be spent on other programs - and IMHO better programs than endless testing.
Edward Robinson (Editor) February 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM
John, unlike Massapequa Park and TOBAY, which can opt out of the tax cap by a vote of 60 percent of their Board, school districts need to get 60 percent of voters to agree to opt out of tax cap. This would likely be very difficult, and as of now, the Massapequa Board of Education has no plans to submit a budget that exceeds the cap.
John Rennhack February 09, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Yes, and that is where schools get stuck. The municipalities get a quick out on the tax cap, the schools don't. Those unfunded mandates need to be addressed.
Pequa Mom February 09, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Absolutely! The 2% Tax Cap (for schools) was sold to the public by our politicians….from both parties….with a promise of much needed mandate relief. The state “formed a committee” to investigate where that relief should come from….and guess what? Nothing has happened…is that news to anyone? In fact, not only have school districts not had any mandate relief…but additional mandates are still being imposed…with more yet to come. HELLO... does that sound like relief? We need unfunded mandates to be addressed...and we need it NOW…not later! Municipalities don't have to get a super majority (60%) of the voting public to over ride the 2% Tax Cap, their Board's can do that. Only our school district's require the super majority from the actual voters. And the consequences for a school district that does take a chance and puts up a budget of over 2% that fails... is dire. Yes, school districts still need to tighten their belts, review and consolidate functions, and justify spending, but the 2% Tax Cap will destroy New York’s educational system (as it has in other states), if the State doesn’t step up and keep their part of the bargain...and fast! With our taxes going up, our property values going down, and the job and stock market in the toilet, we don't need to watch our children's education and learning environment suffer as well. EVERYONE needs to do their part.
Rick March 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM
This is how government works now. Pander to the public, pass some bill that sounds great in theory, and then figure it out after it's in place. Declare war, then figure out the battle plan. Give universal healthcare, then figure out how to fund it. We need to ditch the dinosaur ways of structuring these schools.
Bill Bix March 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM
The unfunded mandates will only stop when voters apply local pressure and push this mess back up to the top. That's how the govt is structured.

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