The course we take is yours to set

Dear Editor,

My school tax bill arrived this week and it was approximately $50 less this year. Your bill went down some amount more or less depending on your assessment and the effect Equalization and Assessment (E&A) may have had?

The taxpayers in Nichols saw a significant (17 percent) increase, which I do not have the knowledge to explain; perhaps your New York State Assemblyman could explain the E&A process to you. I suspect it has to do with the number of taxable properties in your tax district.

What I’d like to present today is this; is this reduction of (- 0.96 percent) significant or insignificant? It is very significant!

For all our business owners, such as Ms. Ahrbal and Ms. Riegel (both new Board Members and business owners), this means they will need fewer clients / customers this year to break even. And considering the effect of “compounding” this will benefit all our business owners in future years, allowing them to offset rising business costs with a somewhat lower school tax bill. And best of all this small, but significant drop in the Tax Levy will not cause one less student to graduate nor (by any measurement our State use) will it be responsible for our students to continue getting a good and better than average education.

What is also a fact; that by continuing to control the Tax Levy, your Board has the authority to keep the cost of education in this Agra-rural community within the budgets of our taxpayers? By controlling the Tax Levy, you will encourage our young citizens, grandparents, and seniors to remain in OACDS instead of going elsewhere.

“Excellence in Education” we have, Thanks to our Teachers! The “Affordability in Education” lies with you, our Board members. On behalf of our students and taxpayers, I encourage you to remain on the fiscal course set by boards over the past four years. To do less may cause our Agra-driven economy of OACSD to diminish further and will cause more of our neighbors to lose homes to the Tax Collector.


Joe Chartrand

Tioga Citizens for Affordable Education and Excellence

Owego, N.Y.

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