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 The administration apparently thinks that the residents of the S-VE school district should pay some of the highest school taxes in the world. They justify their incredible tax increases by comparing our tax rate to some tax trap district that does pay a higher rate per true value than us. Well, everything is relative and if it makes the board feel good that we are not the highest taxed district in the world, great. But we sure are getting closer every year.


The board likes to compare our taxes against taxes in Ithaca, Elmira, Elmira Heights and Horseheads. Then they boast that our taxes are not as high as in those districts. There is in fact a miniscule margin in taxes per full value when we are compared to those urban districts, but the numbers prove that we are overtaxed. It is clear that the aforementioned districts can afford to pay much more school taxes per acre because their taxes come from enterprise that creates substantial income. They have malls, businesses, manufacturing industry and rental properties. It should clear to everyone that an acre of mall or rental property will create a lot more income then an acre of farmland.  Malls and industrial property can produce a lot of income, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre. The landlord can pay the higher school tax, because it is a small part of his cost of doing business


  What real estate do we have that produces big dollar income in our district?  Not much. Most of the land in S-VE is farmland, forestland and roads. No money there. The residences are mostly single-family residences, yet the board is comparing this to the earning potential of the Arnot Mall. Which one do you think has more earning power? They apparently think that people here are too dense to understand the difference, because why would they otherwise drag it out every year?


Another fact that they conveniently forget in their tax comparisons is that we get more state aid than city districts. Have you ever seen a chart which reports that because S-VE gets more state aid then City districts, we could get by with less local taxes?  Dream on. While this would be a very informative and fair chart to include in the tax package every year, it is a chart you will never see and if Mr. Bailey and the board had their way, it is a fact you would never know about 


The fact is that we are over taxed when you compare the earnings of the real estate to the taxes we pay and the taxes in other districts with similar state aid.

Instead of comparing us to the city districts, they should compare us to   similar rural school districts, which get state aid at the same level as S-VE.  Then they should explain why we are paying 30% more  local taxes than Tioga and 20% more then Waverly.

If you have had enough of waste and mismanagement join the Spencer Van Etten Tea Party at www.svetea.org