Question: I attended the last Round Table, which discussed athletics at B-P. I was so discouraged as a taxpayer. I am very concerned that if we place another 14 percent tax levy increase in front of our taxpayers that it will not go through and we could be left to go to a Contingency Budget.
Answer: It's quite understandable that one could become discouraged when considering the financial realities we face. There is much to worry about - NY has big problems! The Board shares your frustration and worry. We are attempting through a variety of methods to reach out to taxpayers. We do so in order to keep them informed to the best of our ability, to seek their guidance in what matters most to them, and to seek as many ideas for surviving in this environment as we can get.
Your concern is appreciated and we welcome your ideas and energy. A great place for taxpayers to make a difference is in communication with your elected state representatives. They will make the decisions about the state budget, how much money the school receives, what mandates are in force (these are significant cost drivers), and a host of other areas. The Board encourages all taxpayers to become advocates for important changes in our state.
Here are our representatives:
Assemblyman Marc Butler http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=117
District Office: 33-41 E. Main Street, Johnstown, NY 12095
Senator Hugh T. Farley http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/hugh-t-farley
District Office: 2430 Riverfront Center, Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-2188
The governor even has a mandate relief suggestion section on his website: http://www.governor.ny.gov/mandaterelief
Please contact them and tell them we need mandate relief, a change to the way foundation aid is calculated, pension reform, and more. Please read this report for ideas of the kinds of reform we need from the state: http://www.nyssba.org/clientuploads/nyssba_pdf/nyssbapropertytaxcapreport.pdf
Only by being vocal together can the people of this community expect such reforms to happen.
-answered by Ed Szumowski, Board of Education Vice President
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