Numbers Don’t Lie. School Revotes Today

People simply love the new series “Donn Esmonde is an Ass”. And I love writing it – every Friday and Sunday are like little packages of prejudicial, simplistic dogshit. Gift-wrapped nicely in a bow of boomer “me generation” excrement and paper made from pure irony, I get to unwrap the reality for you twice a week until the News relents and sends him into proper retirement.

Forgive me as I pivot back a few weeks, because this is important to address. On May 24th, while the shock and pain of the defeat of the Clarence school budget was still raw, Donn Esmonde argued that Clarence was just “overstuffed with school tax excess” and that it was a good thing that the 9.8% crisis budget was defeated.

While entitled to his overly simplistic right-wing opinion, Donn Esmonde was – as usual – wrong. Here are the facts.

If you navigate your trusty browser to this link right here, you can look up the taxes paid on any Clarence property going back several years. If I take a look at my own home, I learn the following about my school taxes:

In 2006, I paid $4,345.00 in school taxes.

In 2007, I paid $4,347.00 in school taxes.

In 2012, however, I paid $4,205.00 in school taxes.

How about that? I was paying less – in actual dollars – in school taxes in 2012 than I had 5 or 6 years earlier. My property value assessment, by the way, has never gone down in any year since moving into my home in 2002.

Had the 9.8% budget passed, my school taxes were estimated to rise to about $4,600. By the same token, had the tax increases year after year increased by – let’s say 2% (well within the cap and about even with the average rate of inflation over the last 20 years), what I would have been paying in 2012? About $4,800.

(Assuming 4,347 in 2008, 2% increase to 4,433 in 2009; 2% increase to 4,521 in 2010, increase to 4,611 in 2011, 4,703 in 2012, and about $4,797 in 2013).

Overstuffed with school taxes? Lies.

Incidentally, if you live in Alden, Clarence, Lewiston-Porter, Niagara Wheatfield, Wilson, or Bemus Point, today is school revote day. Please go vote.