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Fair,60°
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Editorial
School bond needs to pass

Next Tuesday, Rockville Centre residents will make an important decision about the future of their schools: Do they want to improve them, and make sure they remain award-winning places of learning, or will they allow the schools to fall behind their neighboring districts and lose their luster?

Though this bond, which totals $45.9 million, is similar to one that was proposed — and rejected — a little more than three years ago, we hope that history doesn’t repeat itself, and encourage residents to vote “yes” on this referendum.

We don’t make this recommendation lightly. The district is essentially asking every home and business owner to approve a tax increase, and in these difficult times, when taxes are stretching wallets to the breaking point and incomes have stalled, that’s not an easy thing to ask people to do.

For the average Rockville Centre home, valued at $532,000, this bond will mean a tax increase of $128 a year for the 30-year term of the bond. For some, that increase is manageable. For others, it’s not.

But the fact is that this bond is not just something we want to see happen; it needs to happen. The village has some of the best schools in the country, of which every community member should be proud. The quality of the schools is also reflected in the value of your home.

Some may say that with the economy the way it is, and with many people struggling to afford basic necessities, this is the wrong time to take out a bond. They have a point — but this is also the best time to take out a bond, with interest rates at historic lows. Waiting a few years for the economy to rebound could mean higher interest rates — and that could translate to tens of millions of dollars more that district taxpayers would have to repay.

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