24 percent school tax increase is outrageous
Published in the GOFFSTOWN NEWS
Facing a 24 percent increase in the school tax rate, the Goffstown School Board has sent letters to the teacher and support staff unions asking them to renegotiate their contracts and give up their yearly pay raises.
We agree wholeheartedly with this move, but this should only be the start of the school board’s exploration of ways to eliminate an estimated tax increase of $2.83 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This represents a hike of $707 on a home valued at $250,000.
This increase is simply unacceptable, especially during these tough economic times. Many taxpayers haven’t seen their salaries go up in a number of years, some have taken pay cuts and others have been laid off.
School Board Chairman Keith Allard said other items in the union contracts could be negotiated as well, such as health insurance. Absolutely. If the health insurance costs are rising 18 percent this year, as Allard says, then alternative health insurance plans should be considered to reduce expenses.
And, to be fair, the unions shouldn’t be the only ones singled out. Perhaps some of the highly paid administrators will consider taking a pay cut.
Goffstown taxes did go down last year, due to the School Board returning unexpected stimulus revenue to the town. The board gets kudos for that. However, it doesn’t mean taxes should rise to make up for that this year. Give us a break.
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