Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Extortion....... I mean in lieu of Taxes

   Time to go after those non-profits.......  I hope we are not picking and choosing those groups to be tapped.  Too bad the Archdiocese closed many Catholic Churches years ago.  Can you just imagine the money 'in lieu' of taxes they could have been tapped for? One town over a planned over ride of property tax rates is planned to save teacher layoffs.

Group hatches plan to save school budget

By Brian Messenger

With Town Meeting less than three weeks away and Andover officials still without an operating budget compromise, a group of residents is finalizing a plan that would avoid School Department cuts by spending $1.9 million in savings.
The nearly $127 million budget recommended by Town Manager Buzz Stapczynksi and approved by the Board of Selectmen — which includes $58.6 million for the School Department — does not provide enough money to save some elementary school teachers nor the entire high school athletics program, according to school officials.
To avoid those outcomes and other cuts to Andover's public schools, a group of residents is proposing that Town Meeting transfer $1.9 million in reserves to the School Department for a one-time operating fix next year.
The money would come out of both Andover's stabilization fund and an account holding several year's worth of annual payments to the town from Phillips Academy (in lieu of taxes), which selectmen have voted to transfer to the stabilization fund. Town Meeting will ultimately decide if the Phillips Academy money is indeed transferred.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered Governor Chris Christie to increase aid to the state’s poorest school districts by $500 million next fiscal year, while saying it couldn’t order the $1.6 billion advocates wanted.
The court ruled 3-2 that current spending levels violated the School Funding Reform Act of 2008, which lays out a formula to support the districts. Christie, a first-term Republican, and the Democratic-controlled Legislature failed to honor their constitutional obligations to adequately fund the 31 poorest school systems, known as Abbott districts, the court said.
“Their right to full funding is a constitutional mandate,” the Trenton-based court ruled. “Schoolchildren from the Abbott districts cannot be deprived of the full SFRA funding.”
The majority, citing the Office of Legislative Services, estimated that it would cost $500 million to fully fund the poorest districts in the budget that starts in July. The

Baystate Health has agreed to provide a $250,000 payment to Springfield in lieu of taxes in the coming fiscal year while the city evaluates if voluntary contributions can also be prodded from other major nonprofit institutions.
The $250,000 pledge is less than half the amount that Baystate Health was paying annually under a its prior five-year agreement that expires June 30.
Baystate, which is tax-exempt, initially agreed to a $500,000 annual payment-in-lieu-of-taxes in 2006, as sought by a state-imposed Finance Control Board and former Mayor Charles V. Ryan. The amount increased by 2.5 percent each year. 

            I know some will feel this is a righteous move not unlike prohibited cigarette smoking or bottled water sales in one's state.   This is only telling politicians, or the courts for that matter, that anyway to find more money to collect from anywhere or anyplace is far better than any cut back in government spending or programs.  Let me point out that in some places it is cheaper to send a child to private school than to a government run one.... 

1 comment:

  1. Let the blood sucking begin... Fiscal responsibility be damned... Come to think of it, I want a new car, I think I'll just stop paying some of my previous obligations and get that BMW I've always wanted...


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