When I came up with the $15/$200k house estimate for the school board tax levy, I was using a figure I thought I heard from the chair of the school board through loud jeers from the crowd. A few friends with better math skills, and ears, wrote to correct me.
The rate is lower.
According to an Oct 6 newspaper article, the mill rate for the 9.9% increase would be a $7.44 rate... which works out to be less than $10 a month on a $200,000 house, not $15.
I've also had friends write in to note that, even though their homes have increased in value dramatically in the last 20 years, they are actually paying LESS in school taxes than they did 20 years ago... not a lower rate. They're paying less in real dollars.
So, those complaining that this rate increase is too high either can't manage their own budgets properly, have prioritized cable-TV ahead of their neighborhood education system, or are recently out of work.
Only the last group have a good argument.
If anyone can locate real numbers that contradict mine -- and everything I've seen indicates we live in a town with one of the most efficient school districts and one of the higher median household incomes in the state -- let me know and I'll post it up.
I'm also a bit confused by the argument that too many people are out of work... the rate has gone up some since April, but during that referendum half passed rather handily and the other half only lost by 16 votes inside the city limits. Maybe the rich folks out there in the subdivisions, with the expensive houses and the SUV's, have been hit harder than those of us who live in modest houses and drive economy cars -- that might explain some of the resistance.
I guess it is tough to scale back from two Hummers to one Hummer and a Denali. I imagine some of them had to give up one of their jet skis too, and maybe even a snowmobile.
Better to keep that $10 a month for gas money, rather than new kindergarten teachers.