Last year's tax attack, Part 1
Last year's tax attack, Part 2
Last year's tax attack, Part 3
Here is a recap from GC School Board watchdog, Jason Reeher:
Some public officials will never learn. If you live in Grove City School District, it’s not a matter of if the school board will make another bad policy decision, but when. The latest wrong move is the tentative budget for the 2006-2007 school year. As is fitting for a board that loves to raise taxes, this newest budget includes yet another tax increase - two mills, to 49.5.
This tax increase is particularly troubling, because it comes on the heels of two particularly terrible board decisions. The first was last year’s administrative pay raises; the second is the recent cutting of programs for students at the Middle School. It is clear that the GC school board is committed to administrative desires while disregarding the needs of students.
For his part, Superintendent Dr. Robert Post "recommended" the tax increase. It’s funny how easy it is to recommend that residents’ incomes be cut while your own salary continues to grow.
Post argued that the state isn’t paying their fair share of public school costs. This is true. It also indicates a need to cut administrative costs—and not programs for students. The Superintendent also said that the state isn’t paying its half, so the taxpayers of Grove City must pay more. This is untrue. The school board has the power to reduce costs by cutting administrative salaries or even administrative positions.
Worst of all, Post said that Grove City is at the lower end of the state’s public school tax scale, and thus can "afford to pay more." This is a specious argument. All taxes—especially property taxes, which amount to legalized, government-sponsored theft--are already too high! Just because GC’s taxes are a little lower than some doesn’t mean an increase is in order. The thief who steals the least is still a thief.
Board member Bob Montgomery blamed the County for not "having more new homes on the tax rolls, then every else has to pay more." So does a school board that increases taxes every year, Mr. Montgomery.
Board member Jim Crow laughed and snickered throughout the discussion on taxes.
I will ask the board to reject this tentative budget, to roll up their sleeves and cut administrative costs--even administrative positions, if that what it takes. Post and the board should stop blaming the state and county for tax increases, and start taking responsibility for their actions--and their over spending.
As for Crow, tax increases are no laughing matter. His cavalier attitude and this board's willingness to increase community costs while cutting programs for students instead of administrative salaries is despicable.
We should challenge our local school boards to roll up their sleeves, put students first, and present budgets that are within their means.
It's time to fight back. Spread the word.
Jason's comment about "[t]he thief who steals the least is still a thief" is equally powerful and true. You have no choice about paying taxes. Post and his ilk wish to use the barrel of a gun to extract money from your pocketbook. However, Post can make the choice to reduce spending and save the Grove City area residents from even more taxation.
If the board wants to spend money, perhaps they should hire retired GC Borough Manager Terry Farren, who was able to avoid tax increases for his entire 23-year tenure!
So, who wants to be a school board member? Five seats will be up for re-election next year. Fiscally conservative? Concerned about the state of the school? Send me an e-mail! 2007 will be our year!
* For full disclosure, Jason is my brother-in-law, which makes him even more right! :)