January 25, 2005

Beyond Measure on "Best of High School A Cappella 2005"

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Dryden High School a cappella ensemble Beyond Measure has a song, "Fever," on a collection CD, "Best of High School A Cappella 2005." The CD is not yet available, bit should be out soon, and Beyond Measure's next performance will be April 29th.

The Ithaca School Board will be examining redistricting tonight at 7:00pm at the district's administration building.(map). Four options will be presented, the first of which involves no change, the second of which optimizes bus routes, and the last two of which change start times and boundaries.

In state news, an article looks at Governor Pataki's proposal for giving county property tax relief to counties which don't raise spending. Apart from sounding complicated, it isn't clear if counties which receive mandates from the state to spend more money - on specific projects like the county jail or Medicaid more broadly - would lose their tax breaks. Dryden resident Henry Kramer sounds dubious about the idea:

"If you want relief, you have to give it to the people who pay taxes," Kramer said. "It is not about specific taxes. It is about total tax burden. If you shift from one tax to another, you don't change the total tax burden, just the form."

I also have to wonder how the state would evaluate whether "local governments keep spending below certain, prescribed levels." This sounds like a set of issues potentially as complicated as the notoriously manipulated school aid formulas. The claim is 3 to 3.5%, depending on the year - but while I like the idea of flexibility, what process determines that? Also, since it measures spending increases, and not total spending, it seems that counties who want to ensure they get these rebates from the state have an incentive to raise spending now, before the state is watching to take away rebates. Maybe the state should look instead at reducing its own impact on county property tax bills?

Posted by simon at January 25, 2005 8:48 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos