Hold On, There, Flasch. . . .

I’m sure there’s probably a paragraph in here that she forgot to write, but as it stands now, this article contains an entirely unsupported proposal of a most interesting variety:

Would Tax Caps Work in New York? – 13WHAM.com

Jane Flasch (Rochester, N.Y.) — Governor Eliot Spitzer’s budget proposal promises to nearly double the STAR program rebate checks for some homeowners.

While there?s no doubt those homeowners appreciate getting that check, a number of studies have shown that the STAR program has actually lead to higher taxes. School property tax levies have gone up 57 percent since the STAR program was instituted.

So what, exactly, about STAR causes the school taxes to go up?  That issue is never directly addressed in the above-linked article.  The only (tangential) issue raised that could account for this statement might be the amorphous “unfunded liabilities,” bit here at the end of the article:

Cap Yo Ass, pt II – 13WHAM.com

There are two types of these kinds of costs. One type involves higher costs of gas and heat, health insurance, and retirement plans.

The second type is mandates that state and federal governments require, but don’t pay for.

East Rochester School Superintendent Howard Maffucci says nine of every ten dollars of this year’s budget is already spent on those unfunded mandates.

OK, but that’s an awfully big list, isn’t it?  And nowhere does this directly address the STAR program.  How much of an “unfunded liability” does the STAR program represent to schools?  What percentage of costs is attributable to STAR?

Why pick on the STAR program (the one that helps us lower our carbon costs in this state) for the rise in school taxes, or was this just some half-assed segue?  You may as well say that school taxes have increased steadily since bell-bottoms were introduced, therefore bell-bottoms are to blame.

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By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

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