Guest Contribution by Arthur Green
The TRSD School Board and Administration love surprises, and the surprise they love best is the tax impact of the proposed budget. This will be sprung on the public at Deliberative on Feb. 9.
Spoiler Alert: If you love surprises as much as your school board, STOP READING NOW.
Here it is:
We reported on this blog that the Budget Committee took the unprecedented step of reducing the proposed budget by $200,000 following Public Hearing on January 11 (BTW I am not aware that this reduction has been reported elsewhere, although the details have now been posted on the TRSD web site).
I had previously calculated the tax impact of the budget here, and so I am showing the difference between the tax impact of the newly changed budget, compared to the previous calculation prior to budcom reduction of $200,000.
The taxpayer relief of the reduction is modest at best. Originally we were looking at a 7.9% average tax increase across the district, that increase is now 7.5%. Town by town the change is similar.
Taxpayers should also keep in mind that the Support Staff contract (warrant article 4) will, if approved by the voters, add $181,323 over and above the proposed budget, which will effectively reverse the $200,000 budcom cut and reinstate the tax impact as originally calculated.
I am criticized for posting these tax calculations. There is a simple remedy – the district should be providing this tax impact information, and it should be provided to Budget Committee in early December as part of their deliberation.
Should residents be outraged at the rising tax burden to serve a shrinking enrollment? Yes.
We should also be outraged at a Budget Committee which fails to insist on having this information for their deliberations.
We should also be outraged at an administration that withholds this information until it is too late for the public to act on it, either by reaching out to their elected representatives or by coming out to Deliberative.