Prediction: Taxes Will Go Up Tonight – a lot

The Timberlane School Board hasn’t seen a proposal from Dr. Metzler it hasn’t liked.  This is why I’m seriously worried about his proposals tonight, basic details of which have not been disclosed.  The agenda calls for action on a Reserve Fund but it gives no indication as to how much money is being proposed to deposit into this fund.  I asked but was told only the maximum amount that could be put in: $1.14 million.  This  suggestion alone should have your heart racing because the tax consequences would very likely be severe for Sandown and Danville.

The agenda also calls for action on the high school athletic facilities.  I asked for  a written proposal for this in advance of the meeting.  Nothing was forthcoming.  It will all have to be decided in a big rush to encumber the surplus money by the end of our fiscal year, this June 30th.  The agenda allows  10 minutes of discussion on this topic. You wouldn’t do renovations on your own home under such hurried conditions, but the school board thinks nothing of being railroaded into these decisions at the end of every fiscal year.

Now, having no information about the amount of money Dr. Metzler envisions for these action items, I can only speculate and worry.  I’m worrying hard.  We currently have a projected surplus of $2 million, which is that amount of money up for grabs tonight.

If the school board decides to spend $1 million, here is what is very likely going to happen to your school taxes come December:

SANDOWN:  + 10.8%       (preserving the full surplus:  +8.2%)*

DANVILLE: 11.7%         (preserving the full surplus): 9.1%)*

*(All tax figures are Arthur Green’s estimates based on the ADM of the four district towns staying in the same proportion as they were last year and with other variables the same as last year.)

I don’t even care to think what would happen if more than $1 million is spent.

You might think that putting money into a reserve fund would not affect taxes.  It will most certainly.  The surplus offsets future taxes owing.  Any money that is withdrawn from the surplus will hit taxpayers like a frying pan. It is a direct dollar to dollar relationship.  One dollar out of the surplus means one dollar more needs to be raised in taxes.

The meeting is held at the SAU building, 30 Geenough Rd., Plaistow, in the basement (back door) at 7:30.  Public comment is at that time.

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Filed under Expenditures, Sandown Issues, School Board Behavior, Taxes

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