Former Governor Spitzer is asking County Executive Souzzi to look into the possibility of capping our property taxes. While I like the idea of capping property taxes, I really don't think that is going to solve the real problem, and the real problem is out of control spending. Our taxes are driven mainly by school budgets, and this is true nowhere more than in our little town by the sea. We have one of the highest cost school systems on Long Island, but our students place in the middle third in standard test results.

Based on material I have received in the mail, our taxes have risen by amounts far in excess of inflation each and every year for several decades. Everyone wants quality education, but all the school district ever tells us is that they "need more money." What they really need is some competition to force them to improve or lose students. I think the real problem is that our school boards have not given fair consideration to the taxpayers. They only listen to the unions and certain parents who always want more of everything. This year I hope to see for the first time in memory a budget increase less than the increase in inflation, which I think was about 4 percent. With the economy in some trouble, with the current mortgage crisis, and with many financial jobs being lost, I ask our school board to please give us a budget that holds our taxes constant, just like the Sachem School District is doing for the second year in a row.

Rick Atkinson

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