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GCCS asking for TIF dollars


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#1 Donna

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 12:58 AM

I've griped about the bloating of administrative expense versus education for a long time!  This administration continues to grow their own budget and want to cut back on educational funding because of the "budget."  STOP spending monies on administration and focus on education.  But, no, not this group.

 

At the last school board meeting, Dr. Melin stated that he had Nancy Kraft approach the Clarksville Redevelopment Committee to beg for TIF dollars.  He also stated that Jerry White presented to the Jeffersonville Redevelopment (which is a bald-faced lie!  He presented, Jerry was there but didn't say a word!) And, he TOLD Tony Hall that he should present their request to the Charlestown Redevelopment. 

 

So after he overspends the budget on administration, he comes asking various local governments to cover educational expenses, because it's "all about the kids."  

 

Of course, the administration is also lamenting the "lost" dollars on property tax caps.  Apparently, they factor into their budgetary imaginary the caps (meaning that your property cannot be assessed more value each year despite it's actual value) and seeing that as a loss.  CFO Mr. Dykiel talked about the loss of "revenue" ($2.6 million dollars)  because of these tax caps.  The tax caps were put in place to protect property owners from ever increasing assessments to fund whatever. 

 

"Lost" implies revenues that could be recovered or found.  There is no "Loss."  Loss implies an ability to find or recover.  This projected increase is GONE.  These tax caps are to protect taxpayers from ever-increasing assessed property values to fund whatever. 

 

So let's talk about "loss" and the need for the community (read taxpayers) to help.  There's tax dollars to be had, let's go for it!  I hope they all tell him "NO!"


Edited by Donna, 20 December 2014 - 01:01 AM.

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#2 Holy Cow

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 06:44 AM

Donna, I for one wholeheartedly agree with you in support of property tax caps and on controlling costs. I do however in support of the GCS board and administration see some logic specifically to the Clarksville situation. I did some research that presents a situation worth examining among the Town of Clarksville, Greater Clark Schools and Clarksville Community Schools. As I looked into this, I had to wonder if there are many other areas of the state with this odd situation.

 

A number of years ago, the entire area of Veteran's Parkway, Parkwood, and Blackiston Village Subdivisions were all part of Jeffersonville Township. Those residents had 47130 ZIP codes and the children of those areas went to GCS schools (if they went to public schools). Today, the landscape is very different. Today, those same areas have been annexed by the Town of Clarksville, the residents have 47129 ZIP codes and those kids still have a GCS geographic boundary. Now I will be the first to acknowledge that GCS school corporation property taxes are levied on those residents, but without question, there has been an economic disparity created among those taxing units (GCS, CCS and the Town of Clarksville) as a result of that particular TIF District and annexation measure. 

 

My point in all of that is not to say that I support the GCS position as stated at the last board meeting, but to illustrate a very peculiar taxing situation in our community. This issue is certainly not simple, and does deserve some consideration on how GCS, CCS and the Town of Clarksville can maximize taxing revenues to benefit their citizens and their children.



#3 Tina

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 08:28 AM

Honestly, I agree with you both!  :D  How's that for a fence?  LOL!

 

I don't think GCCS *NEEDS* more money and the tax caps are doing exactly what they were supposed to do - protect us!  They are meant to keep local government entities budgets from growing faster than inflation, etc.   I agree with Donna and wish like heck every single official would stop calling them losses.  That money is not YOURS that we the people just happen to get to keep because the state implemented tax caps!  It *IS* the people's money!!!!! 

 

I have also stated numerous times that the only way the general public will begin to understand the abuse of TIF in this area is if the schools get involved and help educate them.  So I'm actually glad that they (FINALLY) understand they're losing money (and in the case of TIF, yes - absolutely they are losing money).

 

When property values go up, so will tax collections.  When a house assessed at $50k now increases to a value of $100k (via market forces, not manipulation from the assessor's office) then they will collect more.  Clarksville should prove that even the purdiest TIF doesn't increase property values, but no one wants to talk about that.  Does it increase assessed values INSIDE THE TIF?  Sure. Duh.  Does it increase the value of all the homes surrounding it?  Does it increase the home values in the surrounding areas?

 

Where do homes have the best value?  The ones with the best schools and the areas with lower crime.  

 

Focus on improving the schools, home values will increase, GCCS will stop losing students to other districts, and their money problems will be solved.

Focusing on development first is exactly backwards, unless we all like a huge increase in minimum wage- barely above minimum wage jobs.  Focus on a top notch education and the rest falls into place.  ESPECIALLY if you want people to settle over here versus Prospect.


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#4 rhouchens

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 10:32 AM

Tina, in another forum you seemed in favor of raising taxes to remodel or build another Silver Creek High School is that different than what you are talking about here?just for clarity are you in favor of a referendum to raise taxes for this proposed project?



#5 Donna

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 11:38 AM

Silver Creek is over capacity and has needed to expand for many years now.  But the state pays less money per pupil at Silver Creek than they do at GCCS. 

 

My children attend (out-of-district) Silver Creek and they love it.  I would support an out-of-district tuition, as well as, an increase of taxes to support this awesome school so that they have the capability to do what they do so well.  I would also support an even amount of state tax dollars for every student no matter where they attend. 


Edited by Donna, 20 December 2014 - 11:39 AM.

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#6 Tina

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 12:46 PM

Tina, in another forum you seemed in favor of raising taxes to remodel or build another Silver Creek High School is that different than what you are talking about here?just for clarity are you in favor of a referendum to raise taxes for this proposed project?

I am not opposed to referendums. They are put to the people for a vote.

The buildings don't determine the excellence of education. Know how I know? I went to Catholic schools that didnt even have air conditioning at that time. We even had to learn with... *gasp* chalkboards! I promise I got a superior education, regardless.

Edited by Tina, 20 December 2014 - 12:51 PM.

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#7 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 12:49 PM

My grandchildren now attend Rock Creek -- an "A" rated charter school in Sellersburg and love it!  They receive NO dollars from property taxes -- NONE.  They receive only the per pupil state funding which is LESS than Greater Clark.  I am tired of hearing that GCCS needs more money ---- they need to spend the money they have more wisely.   It can be done -- as proven by both SIlver Creek and Rock Creek.


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#8 rhouchens

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 01:31 PM

Why does GCCS receive more per student than the other schools mentioned? is the tax base higher in the GCCS area? there has to be a reason unless the state is discriminating against these schools and I find that hard to believe please help me understand and I believe state funding comes from our taxes correct me if I am wrong.



#9 Tina

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 01:36 PM

Per pupil spending, I believe, is currently (at least partially) based on how many students are free or reduced lunches. Schools push hard for everyone to fill out the form because the more that qualify, the more $ they get. the legislature intends to review/tweak the formula this year.

Property taxes are for capital expenses & transportation. someone can correct me if I am wrong.

Edited by Tina, 20 December 2014 - 01:38 PM.

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#10 rhouchens

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 01:48 PM

So to receive money to build or remodel would have to come from the state in addition to what is allowed per student by request from the school system?



#11 Tina

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 02:47 PM

Buildings are capital projects so that would be a referendum & property taxes.

#12 Tina

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 02:51 PM

Since TIf $ comes from property taxes I assume it would be for capital projects. IF the TIFs choose to pass thru assessed values to the schools they would get more, redevelopment would get less.

More money for teachers would come from reducing administration overhead or Iif the state increases the per pupil funding.

Edited by Tina, 20 December 2014 - 02:51 PM.


#13 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 06:45 PM

The state IS increasing the per pupil spending for next year.  GCCS needs to cut wasteful spending -- and focus on quality education.  Too many students are leaving Greater Clark.  While the school system likes to say that the graduation rate has increased from 88.1% to 90%, that is misleading.   If they hadn't dropped the requirements to graduate at the last minute last spring, the graduation would have fallen to around 83%.   It is no wonder that so many in the Greater Clark district attend Silver Creek, Rock Creek, Community Montessori, Christian Academy and other schools.   Parents want a "quality" education for their children --- not chrome books.   I agree with Tina - you don't have to have all the latest technology to get a quality education. 


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#14 karen

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 11:33 PM

A quality education is available at GCCS.  And the GCCS parents I know love the Chromebooks.  


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#15 Donna

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 06:59 AM

I agree, Karen.  GCCS does provide a quality education with many, many awesome teachers!  I just wish the admin would rein in their spending on administrative purposes to make sure the monies for educational purposes are available. 


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#16 Tina

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 09:02 AM

I would prefer to see smasmaller classrooms & more assisstants in the class rather than additional admin spending.

Edited by Tina, 21 December 2014 - 09:03 AM.

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#17 karen

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 09:03 AM

I agree, Donna.  I just wish the parents pulling their kids out of GCCS would understand that their kids make their own educational experience, no matter what school system they attend.  And that the diversity of large schools like Jeff High are a life lesson of itself.  My niece has said she knows students at Jeff that come from 6 different countries.  How cool is that?   I understand that some students need a smaller environment for learning but the parents I know that have pulled their children have done so because of demographics.  They would never be honest enough to admit it, but it's true.  They do not want their children going to school with kids that are not as "good" as their kids.  I overheard a conversation at a basketball game this weekend where one mother told another that she was transferring her daughter because she would go to Parkview next year. This parent was wearing a Utica Elementary shirt.  The way she said the name of the school was like she was talking about sending her kid to hell itself.  It's really sad.  The teachers at Parkview helped one of my students become an excellent student.  They instilled a love of learning that will carry her through college.  The open educational boundaries are only going to hurt our larger school systems by allowing some of the higher achieving students out and our smaller school systems because of financials.   I know I'm off topic, sorry for the rant.  


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#18 karen

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 09:10 AM

I would prefer to see smasmaller classrooms & more assisstants in the class rather than additional admin spending.

I think every elementary school needs a small teacher/student ratio.  Help build a base of learning so every young student masters the basics.  At the middle school level, each student needs to be evaluated and placed in classes according to their needs, and these are excellent years to separate by gender.  By the time a student reaches high school they should have been given the skills they need to succeed,  This does not mean that every student will succeed, some just don't care or don't have the family support they need.  These things take money that is now being spent unnecessarily at the admin level. 


Edited by karen, 21 December 2014 - 09:13 AM.

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#19 Donna

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 11:32 AM

For too many years I was in opposition of the GCCS admin and ended up exposing my children to potential harm (and who could I complain to?)  It flared up and I moved my children out of district.  The educational opportunities were there, but first, and foremost, my role as parent is to provide quality education while protecting my children. 

 

I did what I had to do.  Politics be danged! 

 

Don't like me?  Your prerogative.  Go after my kids?  Um, well, heck no!


Edited by Donna, 21 December 2014 - 11:33 AM.

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#20 rhouchens

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 11:44 AM

So West Clark would have to ask for Tif money for their building project? is that how the GCC school projects were funded?






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