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Letter: School budget not 'out of control'

The Nassau County Assessor's office in Mineola.

The Nassau County Assessor's office in Mineola. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

I find it outrageous that James Davis, Nassau County's acting assessor, said, "School spending is out of control and that's why taxes are going up" ["Tax rates rise for schools," News, Oct. 4].

After looking closely at the facts, I disagree. Voters across Long Island approved virtually all local school budgets last spring at an average increase of just over 3 percent. School budgets included a whopping 16 percent-plus increase in the Teachers Retirement System pension costs. In our community, spending for the 2013-14 school year will actually decrease by 1 percent, meaning about $1 million less. School spending is under control.

Why then are homeowners seeing tax bill increases greater than 3 percent? That answer lies with Davis, who is in charge of a settlement plan that granted 87 percent of tax bill challenges. Why is that? Who is in control?

School spending is well under control. More important, it is in line with what each community wants for its schools. Out of control? I'd say Nassau County's assessment scheme is.

Regina Rule, Manhasset

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Manhasset school board.
 

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