Below is a report from Uli Pendl on the budget process for fiscal year 07/08. Uli has been a diligent watchdog over the Tuxedo Union Free School District for years, but he needs our help. It is extremely important that someone runs for the School Board. We need help to control our escalating taxes.

George Mollo from the Woodlands has asked us to print his article on school taxes and the school board election. It appears below Uli’s report.

Tuxedo School Budget Report
The fourth and last budget workshop of the Tuxedo Union Free School District has come and gone. Neither the Village Mayor nor Deputy Mayor, despite repeated campaign promises, found it necessary to attend any of the meetings in order to learn about the ever rising school taxes and to support our efforts to keep the school budgets reasonably in line. Don’t forget, it is the Village that pays the lion’s share.

To make a long and unhappy story short: Taxpayers will look again at a projected 13.4 % increase in the tax levy that will result in a double digit increase in their school taxes for FY 07/08. The budget is a listing of codes, descriptions and numbers, with percentages, calculated incorrectly in places, and comparing as usual budget with budget instead of establishing the budget on estimated actual expenditures. This is not an effective instrument of cost management control.

Zero based budgeting, although suggested years ago, is not utilized and a naturally decreasing debt service number is used to decrease the overall budget total, thereby allowing for increases in discretionary spending. This “system” resulting in ever rising tax increases is only possible as the School District (using State rules) is able to access the bottomless feeding trough provided by the taxpayers.

There is not enough space here to go into details, but the budget work shop figures (preliminary and often changing until the last moment) are available, including explanations, before the presentation of the budget to the public at a hearing on May 8th, 2007 - just one week before the taxpayers have to vote on it. (If interested contact TPFYI by e-mail or call Uli Pendl at 351-4470)

A final comment: Residents MUST take more interest in what is going on and hopefully many will attend the public hearing on May 8th. Meanwhile we are pleased to quote below a letter Mr. George Mollo has given us the permission to include in this article. (The letter also appears on the Woodlands at Tuxedo web site)

Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 2:39 PM
Subject: School Taxes
From: George Mollo, Tuxedo - the Woodlands.

Based on the School Board Budget meeting last evening, we are looking forward to another double digit School Tax increase when we will be voting in May. With the coming proposal School Taxes will have increased over 100% in seven years.

After having attended every Board Meeting with the exception of one in almost two years I have come to the conclusion that nothing will change in the future unless we are able to elect some fiscally responsible individuals to the School Board. If I were younger I would run for the School Board myself.

I am wondering whether you may know of someone who might be interested in running for election. Timing is such that we would have to file a petition with a minimum of 25 signatures by April 14th. Three current members are up for reelection. If we can come up with one or more competent individuals I can easily secure the necessary signatures and would definitely help to promote their election.

Hoping to hear from you. My phone is 753-3691.

George Mollo

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