B'ville schools could lose additional $1.3 million in sales tax
As if mid-year state cuts to education weren't enough, the Baldwinsville Central School District is now looking at the possibility of losing an additional $1.3 million in funding from the county.
During last week's meeting, the county Legislature's sales tax committee discussed three possible sales tax distributions between the county and municipalities, none of which included sharing funds with school districts. If any of these scenarios are approved, it would mean a $1.25 million reduction in funds for Baldwinsville schools.
In a release posted on the district's web site, bville.org, Baldwinsville Superintendent Jeanne Dangle discussed the impact the reduction would have on the district and urged community members to contact the legislature and express opposition to the decision to eliminate the district's share of county taxes.
"We need to let them know that it is detrimental to our educational programs and community," Dangle said.
The district is already facing a proposed $4.6 million reduction in state aid, which, if approved, will force the district to reduce staff by at least 100 positions, a decision rippling across Onondaga County districts. This is in addition to the 46 positions the district cut to meet the 2009-10 budget.
Currently, Onondaga County receives approximately $200 million a year in sales tax from the state, a third of which is shared with towns, villages and school districts. Due to its own budget gaps, the county is exploring the possibility of changing the sales tax distribution formula, which has been in place for 10 years. Changes would have to be approved by the county Legislature and Syracuse Common Council.
Residents could also face changes.
"Every year, we use our share of the County sales tax to reduce the size of the property tax levy," Dangle said, adding a $1.25 million reduction would amount to an approximate 3 percent tax levy increase, which would directly effect district residents. "Cutting sales tax to our schools will result in even further cuts in the classroom, more job losses locally and an increased impact to our local taxpayer."
The county Legislature will hold a session at 9 a.m. March 29 at the Legislature chambers, 401 Montgomery St. in Syracuse, at which point school districts are invited to make presentations on the sales tax issue. To contact your county legislator, visit ongov.net/legislature/members.html.