kitchen table math, the sequel: Bronxville school taxes

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bronxville school taxes

A good article in the Times today.

The only problem is that it doesn't mention the Triborough Amendment, which you need to know something about in order to understand why the union would choose to work without a contract.

Also, in the illustration below, substitute the words "since the crash" for "in the last several years."


Grace Nunez said...

I just caught a few minutes of the school board budget meeting for the village next to Bronxville. Residents were complaining vociferously about what they considered outrageous compensation packages given to administrators. Some speakers expressed surprise about the way that school employees are able to carry forward so many personal/sick days and bump their comp during their last years of employment. (And we know how that affects pension amounts.)

A couple of speakers compared their situation to the Wizard of Oz, as they were only now learning what was "behind the curtain".

The quote from the movie is, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Well, people are certainly starting to pay attention now.

Catherine Johnson said...

I'm wondering whether we'll start to see the effects of the internet.

In the past, individual parents might find out individual facts, but then they went down the memory hole.

Now, with blogs, list serves, and websites, parents and taxpayers have more ability to develop 'institutional memory' and even to frame debate.

Here's an example from my town.

We've been wrangling over whether to hire a full-time curriculum director for next year.

The superintendent has formally justified the hire as relatively inexpensive because we're already paying a part-time curriculum director. So hiring a full-time curriculum director is "only" another $70K or so.

Until recently, people were apparently buying this line of reasoning -- even though Ed spent the year trying to persuade people that that's not the way accounting works. A position costs what it costs; it doesn't cost half what it costs because you're already paying that half this year.

Today I got the figure the position has been budgeted for and posted it on the Parents Forum along with the the figure for what each percent of tax hike equals in terms of the budget (e.g. 1% tax hike = $430K or thereabouts).

The position is budgeted at $160K plus another 33% benefits: $212K.

I would bet money **that** is the number that is going to stick -- and the reason it's going to stick is that that's the headline on the email that will be forwarded around town.

But just a few years back, it was fantastically difficult to 'hold onto' any numbers at all.

Catherine Johnson said...

A man from Bedford told me that residents need to FOIL the W2 forms in order to get total compensation (which is on Line 5, I gather).

Typically, districts splinter compensation into several different pieces, so it's very hard to tell what the total is.