Thursday, April 9, 2015

Another Day, Another Batch of Lies

It's amazing how much energy they waste into getting everything wrong. If you're going to mount a campaign, it helps to have facts rather than emotion rule the day. Here's today's compendium of "why a good education is very important":

Let's go through this jumble of nonsense step by step:

According to the projections, the Clarence School District is predicting an average of 3.5% a year-that's above the rate of inflation at this time and in the past few years.
According to whose projections? What projections? Projections given by whom to whom? What is being "predicted" at an "average of 3.5% a year"? Your tax rate? The tax levy? Spending?

I mean, seriously. This woman purports to present "facts", but she's literally spouting off nonsense that represents her best effort at repeating what someone told her.

Here is the truth:

No matter which way you slice it, the 7-year average increase in the levy and in spending is 1.4%.

The average annual rate of inflation in the US for those years are as follows:

2008: 3.8%
2009: -0.4%
2010: 1.6%
2011: 3.2%
2012: 2.1%
2013: 1.5%
2014: 1.6%

The average inflation rate over that period of time is 1.9%, less than the 1.4% increases over that time in Clarence School District's tax levy and spending.

No word yet on what is "projected" at 3.5% per year, but the school district's spending and tax levy has increased over time at a rate less than that of inflation. 

That is a problem for the middle class who have seen a decrease in annual household income. See below.  
This median household has seen its income decline to $51,939 in 2013 from a record high of $56,800 (after adjusting for inflation).  See graph:
So income is decreasing or is flat, but yet we are to expect increases at 3.5% each year while our health care and other costs go up.
Why would someone use national averages and median incomes to talk about town taxes.  What importance do, say, middle-class wages in Seattle, Los Angeles, or Amarillo have on Clarence, NY?

Not that it matters, because income is not the basis on which your school taxes are calculated, but instead on the value of your property (and presumably people with modest means have modestly valued homes), but the data for Clarence is as follows:

Median household income 2000: $68,003
Median household income 2012: $89,054

This is a burden on the middle class. Taxpayers are on the hook 2-3% increase in teacher payroll and 5% for healthcare each year. The average family pays 28% towards their health insurance. I believe the teachers are paying 10%. Yet middle class income is stagnant. 
Well, lots of things are a burden on the middle class. However, when I bought my property I factored in the amount of house I could afford; mortgage and taxes included. I suspect most people have done the same. Not to beat a dead horse, but my school taxes in 2015 are unchanged since 2006. Ellie Corcoran's school 2015 school tax bill is 32% lower than the one she paid in 2006. This fake, phony appeal to "the middle class can't afford it" is bollocks.

You know what the middle class can't afford? Private school tuition. That's why we moved to Clarence, because the public schools are so good and so cost-effective. $15/$1,000 of assessed value for the 3rd best district in WNY is a bargain.

The real harm comes from voting down budgets without any real rationale and doing harm to the middle class students, teachers, and families who work and live in the district.

The teachers should be contributing more to their insurance. The district needs to bring those costs down with a fair contract that will protect the taxpayers from these spiralling costs. 
So, while negotiations are ongoing, you're going to vote down a budget, force the district to fire more teachers, send kids scrambling for extracurriculars and sports, and do further harm to an already frugal district that is owed $16 million in revenue from Albany? Revenue it can't make up? Are you insane?

The goal should be to send a message to the board that they need to protect the families and seniors of the middle class from tax increases above the rate of inflation. 
The tax levy isn't the tax rate, for God's sake. Let's take her 3.5% figure, for the sake of argument.  That number is the overall increase in the levy, not the increase to individual property owners. As the town adds real estate value through new construction, (population in Clarence is up by about 17,000 over the last 15 years), and the levy is spread over increased total property values, the individual tax payer will see their taxes go up less than 3.5%. If new construction adds more than 3.5% in value, your tax bill will actually go down!  (This calculation is a large part of why the cap is 4.7% instead of 2%.)

Contributions to health care and no upward adjustments to step increases and a decrease in cost of living increases in the contacts will help achieve these goals.

It always comes back to doing harm to the teachers, because Ellie Corcoran and her crew have determined that these "greedy" teachers are the enemy. I mean, summers off and 10% health care contribution and step increases.

An entry-level teacher with a master’s degree earns an annual salary of $41,400 at Step 1. Is that greedy?

That teacher - with step increases - doesn’t break $50,000 until Step 9. A decade to hit $50k. Is that greedy?

You break $60,000 at Step 13, and $70,000 at Step 16. The max is $93,000 at Step 20.

20 years' worth of teaching experience, and $93,000 is greedy? Is it really? Is it the teachers that explain why Clarence has a BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Porsche, Land Rover, and coming Maserati dealerships?

Take your jealous class warfare and add some facts to it, Ellie. You don't know what you're talking about, you can't do the math, you do a poor job repeating what someone else is telling you, and your lies are easily debunked.

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