Clarence tax base plays a large role
In reading the articles and letters in regard to the recent Clarence school budget vote, there has been no mention of the Clarence tax base. The cost of schools is only one side of the equation. The other side is how that cost is divided between the properties in the school district. For many years the citizens in the Clarence School District have discouraged any type of commercial growth, preferring residential, mainly executive single-family homes. Business owners pay school taxes but do not send students to school.
When we have attracted new businesses, the Clarence Industrial Development Agency has given away a significant portion of the school tax revenues. We need to encourage and patronize local business owners; as taxpayers it is in our best interest. The School Board should be educating the voters about the cost of IDA tax incentives and looking for ways to strengthen local businesses.
New York State sets requirements for educators’ pensions; current employee contracts cannot be changed until the contract period is finished.
As citizens we can offer constructive input into possible cost savings, but more importantly we can look to increase the tax base, which will ease the burden on all. Buy local, encourage business growth and let the IDA know that we don’t want to give away precious tax dollars.
There is more than enough money in Clarence to pay for good schools, it’s just a matter of priorities. Working together we can improve our school and our community.
Linda A. Mosher