This just in -- “Niskayuna homeowners have the highest tax bills in the Capital Region.” Not exactly news if you live in this town. The town and school boards never miss a chance to increase the tax bills for our residents, even when they easily could. The school board approved a program expenditure increase of over $3.2 million, increased staffing of 17.2 personnel, and will have you believe that it did us a favor by only increasing our tax levy by 2.64 percent. The board also is sort of bragging that it could have been worse because the increase is below the tax levy limit.
The two boards in this town have a long history of tax and spend. The 2015-16 school revenues were increased dramatically due to the state owing back aid. Yet instead of lowering our taxes, they proudly managed to keep the it at zero percent. The last time a school vote failed, that board put out the same budget for a second vote and went on record saying the residents just didn’t understand the budget. The residents sent it down to a resounding defeat. We understand perfectly.
It’s time for a change in the make-up of our two boards in this town. The entire politics of these boards are tax-and-spend liberal Democrats, with the exception of our newly elected town supervisor. She could use some help from a more conservative team. It’s not surprising that one of the town board members quickly went on record stating that nothing was going to change. And by all indications, they aren’t supporting our supervisor. I will be hopeful that people that know fiscal management will run for open seats in the future. This long trend is putting a huge strain on our senior citizens and residents at large. I support the school. The education my children received was phenomenal. But what I see in way too many budgets are niceties, not necessities.
The writer is a retired school business administrator.