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A cynical game with school bond issues

People turn out to vote on Tuesday, May

People turn out to vote on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, on the school board, budget and issues at the Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Residents of the Deer Park school district will vote Oct. 20 on a $17 million bond referendum that, the district says, will not raise taxes. Technically, that is true. But this is a cynical game -- and one played by school and fire district officials across Long Island.

Residents' taxes would not go up only because another bond is expiring. Residents approved the old bond believing that when it was paid off, their obligation would be over. They didn't vote for a lifetime of taxes to pay off bonds.

We're not quibbling about the merits of the bond itself, which would fund new roofs, science labs and an artificial turf field. That's for voters to decide. We just want officials to be honest about the process: Tell residents their taxes will not increase but they will forever be paying off one bond or another.