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Archive for Monday, July 18, 2011

Tax break?

While considering how to spend down their reserve fund, school district officials should keep local taxpayers in mind.

July 18, 2011

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The Lawrence school district recently received a financial surprise.

The district dutifully had been contributing to a contingency fund — think of it as a savings account — in hopes of softening the impact of future state cuts in school aid. Local school officials had built up a stack of dollars — about six million of them.

Now, however, the district’s been reminded by the state that there was a limit to how long they could hold onto at least some of that money. Facing a deadline to pare that savings account, school officials must find ways to spend $3 million during the next 12 months.

It wouldn’t be prudent for the money to be used to finance ongoing costs. So, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to devote the money to raises.

There are, however, lots of good ideas being suggested. Give teachers a one-time bonus. Purchase large volumes of supplies, from canned tomatoes to copy paper. Rehire staffers for a year who had been laid off. Buy textbooks, computers, upgrade equipment. And catch up on some deferred building maintenance.

Maybe the district could add one more item to that list for consideration: property tax relief. After all, it’s taxpayers’ money that is in that contingency fund, and there’s no doubt that many property taxpayers in the Lawrence school district are suffering themselves, from job cuts, salary cuts and higher prices. It would be only a temporary cut, but that’s OK.

So as school board members and district administrators ponder how to spend their nest egg during the next year, giving taxpayers a little break would be at least worth considering.

Comments

lunacydetector 3 years, 5 months ago

unfortunately, the tax and spend pinko commies will not understand your logic at all.

weeslicket 3 years, 5 months ago

the school board said they didn't have any money for raises. oops, yes they do. the school board said they didn't have any money to keep buildings open. oops, yes they do. and so on.

Peter Macfarlane 3 years, 5 months ago

So, let's see now - it's okay to give huge bonuses to CEOs in the private sector even if they screw up but not okay to give our underpaid teachers bonuses? Heck, if we give teachers some extra money, they might just spend it on the local economy or perhaps maybe have a life. No, we wouldn't want our teachers to have bonuses. That is just not the Kansas way or maybe the Brownback way.

Evidently, oneeye_wilbur would just as soon have the teachers work for nothing, so that he is not inconvenienced with taxes.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Too harsh, oneeye. Teachers are educated professionals. We rely on their education and proficiency to educate our children. In the U.S., we do not value education as much as we value athletics. Lawrence teachers are paid very low because of the availability of teachers here.

weeslicket 3 years, 5 months ago

my. my. such anger. oddly, even in kansas, the real facts remain: we can actually pay teachers, and at-will employees, fairly, and, we can actually treat communities decently.

who knew such a thing was possible?

Centerville 3 years, 5 months ago

This was no surprise. At least three years ago, an independent audit revealed a total of $1 billion across Kansas in various school district accounts. This finding was denied by the districts for a while, until the violins wore out.

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