On Tuesday, the Fonda-Fultonville Central School superintendent and school board will ask the property owners in the district to swallow another tax increase. True to form, the powers that be at FFCS just can't seem to give the already overtaxed property owners a break.
A $24,943,663 budget proposal has been put forward that includes a 1.75 percent tax increase (a 2.4 percent spending increase). If you own a home valued at $100,000, this adds another $30 a year to your tax bill. In an article in The Leader-Herald on April 11, FFCS officials claimed the school was facing a $207,000 shortfall that may require a tax increase. The problem is that the state of New York actually increased aid to FFCS to $634,439 (a $427,439 increase). Even after receiving additional funds, the board still chose to take more from our wallets. The question you must ask yourself is after years of being hammered by high school taxes, do we want to endure another increase? What is infuriating to me is that this tax increase is not necessary. The board had the ability to put forward a budget without an increase but chose not to. To me, this is very disrespectful to the taxpayers, who have given until it hurt the past few years. Please vote no on this budget proposal.
Another proposal is a $19.8 million capitol project that looks like the superintendent's Christmas wish list. Read the FFCS school flier that came in the mail for details. This project, if approved by 60 percent of the voters, will increase your property taxes on a $100,000 home by $36.75 per year for 15 years beginning in 2016. I don't want to sound as if the proposal is completely without merit. There are parts that are necessary and should be supported. However, this monstrosity is full of costly extras we simply can't afford. Taxpayers must vote no on this proposal and force school officials to put forward a proposal that only includes items that are vital to the school buildings and that enhance the education of our children. If they choose to do this, I am confident the voters will support it.
We must stop this constant habit of raising taxes. I sadly urge taxpayers to vote no on both items Tuesday.
ALAN M. ROSE