State: Lawsuit adds to cycle
If you can’t beat ’em, sue ’em.
Apparently that is the reaction of the New York State United Teachers, which filed a lawsuit last month against New York state for its 2 percent tax cap. In its filing, the union calls the cap “unconstitutional because it arbitrarily caps property tax levy increases, under a complicated formula, at about 2 percent and, thus, locks in and perpetuates funding inequities between affluent and low-wealth school districts.”
In other words, the union would rather taxes increase at whatever amount needed to better fund education.
But let’s be realistic. Throwing money at the societal and educational problems has not fixed a thing in the last 30 years. In fact, it may have made them worse.
Inequities and poverty are a product of high taxes, which the union supports, and a lack of consolidation by both the schools and municipalities.
When one looks at the poorer locations of our region, such as Ripley with a 70 percent free and reduced lunch rate, consider where one of the best and most lucrative places to work would be: the town school district. Ripley, however, is taking a smart step to enhance its students’ educational experience with tuitioning, but other small districts such as Forestville, Silver Creek and Cassadaga Valley are currently feeling a pinch when it comes to their budgets.
That pinch is not due to the tax cap. It is due to declining enrollments due to declining populations. Populations decline when private-sector jobs become harder to find due to a high tax burden.
Who do those high taxes then benefit? School district employees under very generous contracts.
It is a vicious cycle. One that, with a lawsuit, has become even more vicious.