From Chris Williams:
GANDCA is making a positive difference.
Our articles in
- The Trib Local,
- The Daily Herald and
- NW Herald
and regular communications with the board have influenced the D155 board to reconsidered and reevaluate the tax levy they passed at the December board meeting.
The tax levy passed was basically repealed (abatement) at last night’s board meeting.
It’s worthy to also note that D155 did not take the legally available 1.6% budget increase for the 2011/2012 school year as many other districts have; saving D155 property taxpayers ~1.2M.
The district has been able to operate without a deficit despite the delinquent state contributions primarily due to the reserves for capital improvements.
In conversation, I was told that the forthcoming budget cuts and the outcome of the teacher’s contract negotiations will please us.
To date GANDCA has influenced a total D155 property taxpayer savings of ~$3.7M.
I know that our pursuit could feel thankless but it isn’t.
Be mindful that the vast majority in our community do not have awareness of how the economic storm/reset that started a few years ago is now rippling through the public sector, which directly impacts our community and us as property taxpayers.
The est. 10,000+ (see page 20) that have filed property tax appeals in 2010 thank you; although they are treating the effect and not the cause as we are they are nonetheless on our side.
With the forthcoming pension reform legislation being tabled and the likelihood that the current pension benefits will change, the eligible, prepared and astute educators are choosing to retire; locking in today’s pension benefits.
This is a pseudo early retirement package in that the experienced and expensive teachers will be replaced with less experienced and lower cost teachers which should reduce taxes next year.
There are a lot of positives happening here without adversely impacting the community or students very much or if at all.
What’s next for GANDCA and D155? We are going to continue our support for the board of D155, remain engaged and partner through bringing tough and difficult discussions/dialog as merits.
What’s next for GANDCA?
We will take a look at D47 and try to identify opportunities to reduce the taxpayer contributions without adversely impacting the community or students very much or if at all.