"No Additional Cost to Taxpayers" That's what the Nyack School Board states in its mail promotion regarding the proposed $26 million bond referendum. At best, this statement is misleading.
The school board says that the new debt will simply replace retiring debt. But, the truth is that there is no free lunch. Debt service creates cost to the taxpayer. How about this? Instead of financing new debt, why don't we retire debt and give taxpayers much needed relief.
Rockland County has steadily remained in the top five most expensive counties in the United States for real property taxes. Year-over-year tax increases, including school taxes, have far outpaced inflation and, more recently, have exceeded the tax increase cap.
I've compared our school taxes with other places around the country and we're getting slammed. Do you think that the folks at Microsoft in Washington are sending their kids to substandard schools? Or, in Bethesda? Just pick a place and you'll quickly find out that we're pricing ourselves too high for most working people.
In the business world from which I've gained experience, budgets have been flat for many years. There's a make do with less mantra. And, employees have learned not to expect raises, even as their benefits erode. Others aren't so lucky as to have remained in their jobs, often taking lower paying positions so that they can meet their obligations. During the same time, our school budgets have shot ever upward.
I'll vote no because I need tax relief. What about you? Are you also feeling overburdened by local taxes? Have you also taken some hits in this recent recession? Do you question whether you can afford to live here in the long term? Enough is enough.