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Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Comptroller: L.I. districts pushed to the fiscal brink
(Page 3 of 3)
Most Long Islanders understand this reality. That’s probably why, in a 2007 Long Island Index poll, 65 percent of Long Islanders said they would not support a tax cap if it meant reducing teaching staffs, salaries or pensions, even though 55 percent said they supported the notion of a cap.

For years I have written in this column that the Town of Hempstead (and all towns, for that matter) should allow homeowners to install accessory apartments in their houses — separate apartments that could be rented out legally. Accessory apartments, which are allowed by many towns, are usually small, so they can’t accommodate large families and thus do not add a significant number of children, if any, to the schools.

But they bring a new tax base with them, meaning that local governments, including school districts, have more money to fund their operations.

That’s creative thinking.

Scott Brinton is senior editor of the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds and an adjunct professor at the Hofstra University Graduate Journalism Program. Comments? SBrinton@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 203. Brinton’s profile and posts can be found at facebook.com/scottabrinton.

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independent1

Sorry Scott we need that 2% max cap on school taxes otherwise school districts would have no fiscal restraint.

If Long Islanders actually knew how much teachers in their districts make and what kind of pensions they receive I doubt more than 10% would be against the cap. The average teacher on LI makes 80k -100k a year and can look at a pension of 50%-70% of base salary after 25 years. Retiring at age 55 then collecting a pension for the next 30 years is killing us.

Long Island needs to do these things:

Consolidate all districts either by County or Town (Hempstead, Oyster Bay, North Hempstead) to reduce all the duplication at the top.

Get rid of the pension and make it a 401k with a guaranteed contribution by the state.

Make teachers pay for health insurance like the rest of us.

Tell teacher who have retired if you pension is over 60K a year we are cutting it by 10%.

Make it easier to fire bad teachers

School taxes should not be based on property values but should become an income tax like in NYC. Someone may live in a $500k house but have bought it at $150k so they are getting killed in taxes because they live in a nice area.

Your idea of adding apartments to houses would only cause increased enrollments and higher taxes.

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