Letters to the Editor – Pertinent Information Left Out of Letter About Irvington Tax Cap

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To the Editor,

I read with dismay a recent letter published from the Irvington PTSA Executive Committee about the tax cap. I think the tax cap was one of the wisest things Governor Cuomo has done. He said that one of the purposes of the tax cap was to encourage local governments to spend down their needless reserves. The PTSA didn’t mention that objective. Local governments which have the power to tax and the power to borrow should be able to weather financial emergencies without needing big reserves.

The Irvington Board of Education brought its budget under the tax cap by eliminating some maintenance – probably the worst way to reduce spending. What are they going to do next year? The PTSA didn’t mention that.

With the Town of Greenburgh reassessment we are in a crisis period. Most single family homeowners in the Irvington School District will see their taxes rise by far more than the tax cap in order to make up for the decreases in taxes benefitting the condo and coop owners. Most single family homeowners will see their property values decline. The PTSA didn’t mention that.

On June 30, 2015 the Irvington School District’s combined reserves and unallocated fund balances were $7.3 million. We don’t know what the reserves are today because that is “secret” information. The PTSA didn’t mention that.

We have a grossly inflated payroll with far too many administrators and faculty and they always seem to receive raises far in excess of inflation. The PTSA didn’t mention that.

After 17 years on public school boards in NYS, I know I could rip millions out of the Irvington School District budget and education would be improved. Maybe the Irvington PTSA should go back to making cupcakes, selling bricks and having frivolous galas.

Philip M. Maley

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