Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 29, 2013

Lew-Port takes a hit in Cuomo's budget

Niagara Gazette — After Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his executive budget last week, many people saw the increase in general state aid to public school districts as a positive.

Lewiston-Porter Superintendent Christopher Roser, meanwhile, was speechless. And not in a good way.

The district was hit hard by circumstances beyond its control in Cuomo's proposal, including the loss of approximately $300,000 – from its current number of $491,475 to $147,442 – in what is called high-tax aid.

"We don't have an industrial base here and a lot of the property is actually tax exempt," Roser said. "So it's on the property owners. and because our taxes are so heavily based on homeowners in the community, there was a built-in formula to overcome this. But this has all changed and we're getting significantly less aid."

Tax exempt properties within the borders of Lew-Port really is a problem for the district, as the New York Power Authority and no less than five state parks – including Joseph Davis, Artpark and Four-Mile Creek campgrounds – are not responsible for paying money to the district.

Cuomo's third budget proposal, released last week, calls for $21.08 billion in school aid for 2013-14, a 4.4 percent increase from current year levels. But it's hard to see Roser and the Lew-Port family excited.

The lack of joy stems from the overall picture the district faces in planning next year's spending plan. Because not only will the high-tax aid be reduced, but the district is also set to see both transportation funding ($107,000) and BOCES – Board of Cooperative Educational Services – aid ($147,000) will also be slashed, based on district's student population.

Roser said declining enrollment at the district caused the formulas to shift more funding away from the school to other areas, despite increases in spending to both categories through 2012-13.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results