Taxes and school budgets are complex but one thing is simple: “non-users” subsidize “heavy-users.” Seniors, empty-nesters and other non-users of the RCSD subsidize the education for heavy-users of the RCSD.
In today’s joint meeting of the City Council and the RCSD Board of Education there was a good deal of discussion about how to address the challenges posed by the Property Tax Cap. While tax cap overrides, private fundraising, issuing bonds and cutting programs are short-term tactics, City Planning may be part of the solution in the long run.
Fact is, if the City of Rye had a higher ratio of RCSD non-users to heavy users of RCSD, then there wouldn’t be a school budget problem. However, when this ratio reverses, the financial impact works in the opposite direction; funding becomes more burdensome for many, and intolerable for others and ultimately threatens curriculum standards.
There are many factors that drive this ratio and city planning is one of them. Rye’s Plan was adopted in 1985 and expired in 2000. Perhaps now is a great time to dust off our City Plan and make sure we’re doing everything we can to encourage real estate professionals to align our city’s housing stock with the long term needs of our community.