Don't be surprised if you don't see any members of the Lockport School Board out and about the next few days. You see, there all very busy over there on Beattie Avenue congratulating themselves on the fantastic budget that they plan to present to the taxpayers of the district to vote on May 20. There's only one problem with that: The budget stinks.
The proposed budget for the 2008-09 school year is about $73 million, and represents about a 4.65 percent increase in from the current year’s budget. The district, meanwhile, received about $2.5 million more in state aid, a 6.5 percent increase from last year. With the millions in new found aid, the district is still looking at a tax levy increase below 1 percent. Well, hooray for you. You're getting millions more in aid, and you're celebrating the fact that you're still going to raise taxes? The tax, by the way, that comprises 65% of my overall tax burden.
Are we as taxpayers supposed to feel good about this? Should people be dancing in the streets because we're only looking at a modest tax increase despite the fact that the district received millions more in state aid? This is simply disgusting. There is no regard for the taxpayers. There is no attempt to reign in spending.
We've heard time and time again about our ranking in taxes when measured against property values, but no one talks about the fact that school district taxes are a huge portion the basis for that ranking. God forbid we do, then you're against kids! Perish the thought!! I'm going to go out on a limb and say that over the next day or two, you'll see our local periodical go as far as writing an editorial about what a terrific budget the school board put together. If you gave me a 6.5% increase over what I made last year, my budget would look pretty damn good too. I might even manage to save a few bucks with a 6.5% raise. Not the district though, they'll make sure they spend every last dime of it.