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A Look at Tax Levy Increases: TVCSD Compared to Other School Districts

Which nearby school districts are and aren't piercing the tax cap.

The Three Village Central School District was not alone this year in making some tough budget-related decisions. And come budget vote time on May 15, Three Village won't be alone in its quest to by going above the state's cap on tax levy increases.

In this area of Suffolk County it seems districts are split between staying at or below the tax cap and going above it. Here is a look at where Three Village stands in comparison to other school districts in Suffolk County.

District Enrollment* Adopted Budget Tax Levy Increase +/- District Cap Three Village 7,378 $178.6 million 4.48% Above cap 10,810 $215.3 million 2.23% Under cap Comsewogue 3,890 $79,114,408
4.5% Above cap Sachem 14,668 $291.4 million 4.2% Above cap Middle Country 11,000 $218,150,026
4.37%
Above cap 2,678 $62.7 million 1.75%
Below cap Port Jefferson 1,217 $38,076,500 2% Below cap
3,024 $64,954,995 2.61% At cap Mt. Sinai 2,800 $55,364,115 4.78%
Above cap 3,523 $71,574,012 3.2%
Above cap 7,509 $171 million
2.6% Under cap 4,000 $98.6 million 2.9%
Under cap 3,923 $80,832,817 2.49 Under cap

*Based on 2010-2011 data from New York State Report Cards.

Had Enuf! April 24, 2012 at 02:24 PM
When I was a child my mother asked "So if everyone else jumps off a bridge, would you want to?" A simple to understand rebuttal of the herd mentality. So why should taxpayers in 3V care what surrounding districts are planning to do to their citizens.? When surrounding teachers unions accepted no increase, did the TVTA? When surrounding districts imposed larger benefit contributions from employees, did 3V? JUST VOTE NO ! DON'T CRACK THE CAP !
informed April 24, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Thats a great idea. That way our property values can plummet faster than the stock exchange. I dont understand why people dont get the concept - putting money into your district saves your property values.
Had Enuf! April 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Well my father used to say "Don't throw good money after bad". That translates into "our homes are now valued at 2003 prices, but I want to pay 2013 taxes." Don't you get it, high taxes prohibit you from getting the highest value for your home. Home buyers can pay off a mortgage, but they can never pay off the taxes that are the result of out of control wages, benefits, and reckless spending by the education conglomerate. So I ask you...where do you teach?
C. Berry April 25, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Informed needs to WAKE UP. Property values in this area are going down in part because of the HIGH SCHOOL TAXES!! People are trying to sell their homes and move away from this high taxed area but they can't sell - look around you. I'm wondering why people don't get the concept that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
Johny Q April 25, 2012 at 01:28 PM
The residents have paid enough in tax to this school district. Do we really need all these superintendents and assistant to the assistant superintendent positions? When other districts have made concessions, TVSD has not. Teachers from other districts have taken cuts and have sacrificed. Higher taxes means less affordability for new homeowners= lower home values. This School is getting more funds from the state than they know what to do with.*The Three Village Central School District will receive $389,000 more in state aid than administrators originally projected, according to data released late last week."We’re happy to get anything extra," said Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services, who has said during recent board meetings that the previous estimate used to craft the district's proposed budget would likely be increased when the state budget was finalized.*The district received about $36 million in state aid last year. *This year's initial state aid projection had Three Village losing about $853,000 from that amount, according to data presented at the Feb. 14 school board meeting. Now, Carlson said, it's up to the school board to decide how that extra $389,000 should be used. Even with a "No" vote, they are still way above what they had last year and they will get their 2% and real estate taxes will rise substantially. (* Three Village Patch 4/3/12)
Had Enuf! April 26, 2012 at 10:15 AM
A story today from Newsday********** Garden City schools and the Garden City Teachers Association agreed to reopen negotiations and have reached a new settlement, which includes both a delay and a decrease in salary, school officials announced. The settlement, reached last week, will save the district $675,000 in its 2012-13 budget, school officials said. WHERE IS OUR SCHOOL BOARD AND TVTA?
Christine Sampson (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Hi Had Enuf: It's been a year since we published this story --- http://threevillage.patch.com/articles/three-village-school-board-adopts-1746-million-budget-teachers-union-agrees-to-concessions --- it has details of the teachers' contract renegotiations from last year.
Had Enuf! April 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Christine, While I applaud your archival prowess, a salary freeze and then future increases tagged to the CPI ARE NOT EQUAL to a salary reduction. When businesses need givebacks in order to stay competitive, their workers give salary cuts and benefit concessions. Why can't our education system? Can you spell M-O-N-O-P-O-L-Y ?
Johny Q April 26, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Another Archive: Former TVCSD Superintendent Pleads "GUILTY" to Grand Larceny .John Sonedecker, the former District Superintendent, left the employ of the Three Village Central School District in 2003. He left under an apparent cloud of "very quiet" controversy the Board of Education at the time would have preferred not be made public. Sadly for them and certainly for Herr Sonedecker, not everyone follows the preferred direction of "Shhhhhhdom" leaders. Area resident Graham Kirby, dropped a colossal bomb on Sonedecker. After digging into the paper trail of Sonedecker's strip club and worse spending habits, on district time and expense, and then receiving unsatisfactory answers from district board members, Kirby went to the Suffolk County District Attorney. Subsequently, Sonedecker was indicted and, in February of 2005, he plead guilty to Grand Larceny in the fourth degree for actions deemed by the DA's office as a "pattern of financial abuse...[and] sticking the Three Village School District taxpayers with the bill." Sonedecker was directed to return nearly $49,000, serve five years on probation as well as performing 840 hours of community service. But, there's something more to be said about all of this than simply expressing contempt for the man and the failure of the School Board to look out for the publics' fiduciary interests. YOU are at fault. That's right, YOU. For YOU don't vote. YOU don't push Boards of Education for proof positive of the need for increases.
Bill April 27, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Informed better get informed. That old worn out ploy of 'our schools should be able to waste as much money as they want because it supports our property values' is total nonsense. I have first hand knowledge that my home has been devalued because of my HIGH property taxes. I have gotten a reduction in my taxes and have star and when someone comes looking at my home (which is priced below comparable homes) people walk away, when I ask why there is one reason, YOUR PROPERTY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH! People of all pay scales can no longer afford to pay these taxes. So "informed" please explain to me again how this is helping property values. JUST VOTE NO! PLEASE!
INFORMED TAXPAYER April 28, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Johny Q is on target with his comments above. The TVCSD BOE has contempt for the citizens of the school district because they know the majority of the voters just simply will not vote! Therefore the Board feels that they can get away with just about anything they please! Why would they feel any different? As citizens of a country whose freedoms were hard won, we all have a duty to exercise our freedom to vote. If a true majority of home owners really approved of what the Board has done, then so be it! By not voting, home owners will have given in to the greed of the Board and the Teacher's Union!
Wolfgang Wulff April 30, 2012 at 07:47 PM
W. Wulff, Setauket The 3V Budget has been for many years beyond the limit of diminishing returns; it is so high that any increase has no effect on education. The money goes to salaries, benefits, student hobbies (electives) and entertainment. Today's taxpayers are compelled to pay for positions that did not exist and for salaries that did not exist when they went to school at the time when superintendents had no assistant superintendents and served also as full-time teachers. Read view graph panel No. 8 presented at the April 24, 2012 School Board Meeting on the 2012 - 2013 Bufget to see why so many students are painfully weak in arithmetic and English. 3V expenditures in 2012 - 2013 will be $24,207.10 per pupil and year and 9% larger than the average expenditure of thirteen neighboring school districts. The expenditures are second only to Port Jefferson where the power plant pays (through us, the rate payers) most of the school taxes. Twelve years of secondary schooling in the 3V School district costs now $290,485.20 for each pupil. In Europe it costs 60,000 Euros to train an engineer in four years at a university. This means that one HS graduate costs as much as 3.66 engineers. Vote against the school budget until the school budget is significantly reduced.

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