Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tax Cap Logic at the PCSD

Yesterday I was contacted by a community member and he made the following argument about the need to stay within the tax cap limit.

The Superintendent of Schools has been quoted as saying that the PCSD, though labeled by NYS as an average needs district, is really a high needs district (i.e. poor) that is improperly labeled due to out-of-date data being used to made such determinations.

If Mr. Brady is correct, then isn't Potsdam exactly the type of community that needs the Superintendent and BOE to stay within the confines of the tax cap in order to protect its tax burdened poor?

I thought it was a good argument.

Former long-time BOE member Mary Carroll told me she recently spoke to current Board VP, Chris Cowen. She argued that the BOE should stay within the tax cap because many people cannot afford a 2.9% increase. He told her (in defense of exceeding the tax cap) that many people cannot afford a 1% increase.

Hmmm...doesn't Mr. Cowen's retort support Mrs. Carroll's argument? If so, why is the BOE examining budget options that all exceed the tax cap?

Finally, later this year the BOE will be asking the public to vote on a capital project. Does it make sense to tax the public beyond the tax cap in May and then go back to the well a few short months later for more money? If the public becomes irate that the PCSD looks to be the only school district in the county opting to exceed the tax cap, the BOE risks a failed budget and a failed capital project vote.

Members of the BOE might be well-advised to strategize a bit more.

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