VOTE on the TUFSD School Budget TUESDAY, May 15! | May 14, 2007

The following article appeared a few days ago on the web site of the "Woodlands", a part of the Town of Tuxedo.

George Mollo, the author has given us permission to make our readers aware of it. He has been most industrious and thorough in following the Public School budget and tax issues over many years.

School Budget Hearing Notes

I personally wish to thank the individuals from this community who attended the budget hearing. Were it not for them and a couple of others I had asked to attend, the School Board would have achieved their objective of having no one at the meeting other than the reporter from the Greenwood Lake News and me. In the seven years I have resided in Tuxedo this is the first time there has not been an advance mailing to tax payers to advise them of the budget hearing.

By now you should have received the publication “About your Schools”. For those individuals who are not familiar with the process I wish to point out that the 4.5% increase represents the increase in spending versus current year budget. The figure that is of significance to tax payers is the 12.53% on the second page, which is the estimated Tax Levy increase. In other words, on the basis of the best information available at this time, budget approval will result in a 12.53% tax increase.

Following an increase of approximately 93% in six years the seven year increase will be in excess of 100%.

I also believe the reference to the Times Herald Record article of April 27th, 2007, requires some clarification. The writer reported the percentage of spending increase reported by each district without examining any of the underlying factors. The proposed budget includes a reduction of fixed charges (lower Bond payments and lower school bus costs) amounting to $ 775,035. Therefore the projected 4.5% increase of $ 695,204 is on top of the $ 775,035 savings.

In other words the proposed budget actually includes $ 1,470,234 increase for other than fixed charges. By contrast the current year’s actual increase anticipated to be spent is only
$ 350,660.

In my opinion the amount tax payers are being asked to approve appears to be excessive.

Our reporter, Uli Pendl, who has also spent many years on these issues, concurs with Mollo's assessment.

In addition, given the "freight train" coming at us tax payers with the likely exit of the Greenwood Lake high school students, we urge residents to keep informed, to attend all meetings of the School Board and to vote in order to keep the ever rising budgets and tax bills the School presents us with in check.

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