We’re late to consider Tom Suozzi’s property tax commission report, released yesterday. Why would this blog care about a property tax commission report? Because it’s actually all about the education, stupid. Property taxes are raised essentially for one reason: to close the gap between what schools need and what the state gives them. If you want to lower property taxes, you also have to lower the cost of school. Suozzi’s report offers a list of recommendations for how to do that.
In the process, the report also discloses a lot of interesting facts. For instance, check out the chart above. The “Big 4” cities — Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, and Buffalo — are a group that New York City is often compared to: large urban cities facing fairly similar challenges. But, according to the chart, the state is giving the Big 4 almost double the amount of funding per student that it is giving New York City. New York City is also getting less money per student from the state than districts labeled as “high-needs.”
I realize I’m not the first to point out that New York City gets less money. That was, of course, the whole point of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, settled recently after 14 long years of litigation. The CFE payments are just starting to trickle in; they first came to New York City last school year, and more are scheduled for the future (although those are now in jeopardy, due to the fiscal disaster). But the fact that people already spent 14 years trying to correct the gap doesn’t make it less shocking. It makes it more.
Can someone explain? Geri Palast?