WHAM13 - Search Results
School districts request property tax hikes
Brighton, N.Y. -- Local school superintendents said they don't want to raise taxes, but they don't have a choice.
In Brighton, the property tax cap is 1.81 percent. Superintendent Kevin McGowan said he needs more funding to operate.
"We're at a point now where we have no choice but to raise taxes at this point 3.9 percent, he said.
In the West Irondequoit Central School District, voters will be asked to increase taxes by 5.2 percent.
"West Irondequoit is currently $2.5 million in deficit because that's our current gap elimination adjustment, said Superintendent Jeff Crane.
The gap elimination adjustment (GEA) went into law to help New York state's deficit. It takes back aid money from schools, something school officials said has been hurting them.
"We've used more reserve funds," McGowan said. "We've become more efficient, but if we're going to maintain those programs we have to raise taxes to make up for those programs the state is not providing, and is supposed to be providing."
If budgets don't pass, programs like art, music and sports face cuts.
"I don't think any program should be cut out of the children's school days, so I guess I'm in favor, even if that means my taxes have to be increased, said Joanne Resch, who lives in the West Irondequoit school district.
I'm for the schools in Brighton, so if we have to raise the taxes a little bit that's the way it works, said Sharon Viscardi.
"I have no problem paying for taxes for education, said Daniel Keiffer of Irondequoit.
While many support area schools, at least 60 percent of voters will have to say yes for the tax increases to pass.
School budgets will go to voters in May. If that budget fails, there will be a second vote in June.