Readers Write: School board asked voters for too much

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Since the 1960s I have heard the same story.

The sky is falling if we don’t pass the budget, our children will fail, no more music, art, field trips, etc.

Our schools will not be able to provide the education our children deserve.

Our property values will fall.

Fifty six years later the school board is still using the same words.

One high school assistant principal bought his house for $17,000; it recently sold for $850,000.

Real estate will continue to rise regardless.

One of our biggest mistakes is the word property tax.

We tend to think of property tax as our little piece of land and home.

So why call it property tax when it really is school tax.

Tuesday night the school board attended the Great Neck Village Hall’s meeting, they discussed the proposed bond referendum $85.9 million plus $9.5 million from the retirement fund, employees’ benefits, etc.

I am sure this figure will be much higher as the interest rates and the additional staff, teachers, maintenance workers, utilities, health benefits, etc., will be added to the new expansions.

We all have a right to a decent place to live, but with the high budget and need to bond enormous amounts of money they are taking my rights and many others Great Neck residents.

In essence you are asking we, the homeowners, to co-pay for a loan.

If we can’t pay the tax increase we will suffer the consequences with a lien put on our property.

Is that fair to people who have never had children in the school system?

Is it fair to seniors who paid for their children’s education in which most cases would have been 13 years but are now still paying at a much higher rate of 50, 60 years later?

I see many neighborhood houses becoming dilapidated, but the owners are on fixed incomes and school tax must come first or out the door you go.

Even Gov. Cuomo says schools taxes must be held in check.

We are willing to do it, it’s the school board who isn’t.

Do you know how many soup kitchens we have in Great Neck?

What you are doing is a form of gentrification, pushing the middle class, the backbone of our community and our senior citizens out of the neighborhood.

Some 3rd and 4th generations who built this community when it was still dirt roads.

As a reporter from the Great Neck Record insulted me at this Tuesday’s meeting in public with the words, and with such anger: “If you can’t afford it just go somewhere else, leave.”

Like I said push the middle class and seniors out.

In the past few years I have visited schools in China, India, Cambodia, Africa and other third world countries.

40-50 in a class, sitting on concrete floors, a blackboard and one teacher.

But they turn out scientists, lawyers, engineers and doctors.

So when I read this proposed bond is a chance for our children to learn and achieve success, please give our children some credit.

Given a good teacher they will learn whether they have new auditorium seats or new tiled bathrooms.

The referendum ballot should have been broken down so that voters could vote on certain issues to pass, not a flat yes or no.

Call me selfish if you want but when I see my entire year’s social security income check go just to pay a school tax which you now want to increase, when I see young families who would like to move here but turn to other places on Long Island because of our high school taxes, when I see seniors whose children say mom, dad you can’t afford these taxes, you have to give up your home then Great Neck will not be a diverse community, it will only be for the wealthy.

What is happening in New York City is happening here.

If Great Neck is to survive we need affordable housing, but developers and commercial development will be put off by our taxes or they will ask for incentives putting more burden on the homeowner.

This will include renters and co-op owners who will also see an increase in rents and maintenance fees.

One way or the other our children will survive without all the frills, but will we?

Or do we listen to others and leave?

Jean Pierce

Great Neck

 

 

 

 

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