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Letter: 6 Percent School Tax Increase Just The Beginning

As early as May 2012, the Manhasset School Superintendent anticipated piercing the tax cap, when he wrote “we encourage our residents to think 60 plus:” meaning that it would require 60 percent of the vote to pierce the tax cap.  So by May 2013, after spending the district’s cash reserves, the administration pierced the cap and proposed a 6 percent increase in school taxes. The school administration got it right in one respect, residents should think.  

Residents should think about repercussions if their school taxes rise 6 percent this year. For example, property taxes on homes assessed at $1.5 million will increase approximately $1,000. Since the board has not pledged to honor the tax cap next year, residents could expect a similar compounded tax increase in 2014 and thereafter.

Furthermore, looming on the horizon is a court order which has shifted a portion of the property tax burden from commercial to residential property owners and that shift will raise residential property taxes by an amount yet to be determined.  A 6 percent school tax increase is only the beginning.

The reality is that the school board managed the district as if there were no tax cap and simply conducted “business as usual.” However, this time there is a solution to mismanagement and poor leadership.  No + No = No New School Taxes. Your school taxes will not increase if you vote ‘No” on May 21. If the district does not get 60 percent of the vote, residents must vote “No” a second time because No + No = No New School Taxes.

Laurann Pandelakis