March 23, 2005

ICSD redistricts Varna children to Caroline

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Ithaca City School District voted 6-2 last night to implement a plan moving 23 students in Varna from Cayuga Heights Elementary School to Caroline. I need to take a look when new maps come out to see if that's the longest distance to an elementary school in the district; it feels likely to me that it is. (To see the change, you can look at maps here.)

In brighter news for the same area, the Journal has a profile of the Plantation, which reopened last year under new ownership. The article does a nice job of capturing the new and explaining the old, and I had a good lunch there yesterday.

The Community Calendar notes a public forum to be held by the Dryden Board of Education with Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton. The forum will start tomorrow night at 6:30pm in room C-13 of Dryden High School.

The Journal's editorial addresses road maintenance and plowing, raising an issue that has come up in recent letters. They're requesting input from readers.

In the printed version, opposite the editorial page, CSEA Local 855 has a full-page advertisement opposing the possibility of a county income tax, especially a tax that would affect commuters. Since it's not available online, here's their statement in full, verbatim:


As you may be aware, the Tompkins County Legislature has proposed the possibility of imposing an income tax on wage earners in thie County.

As representatives of the public employees in this County, CSEA Local 855 has gone on record opposing any such tax.

Many of our constituents are Tompkins County employees paid directly by the County. A tax on this population would be akin to handing an employee a paycheck and then taking back part of it to satisfy the tax - thus lowering the wage the employee had been promised.

The theory attached to this is the notion that significant revenue will be derived from this tax so as to significantly reduce (or eliminate all together) the property tax.

A basic inequity to the plan - besides the severe financial affect on each and every County employee - is that any such tax imposed on workers commuting from outside the County would lay the burden of paying for Tompkins County services (currently partially paid for by County resident Property Tax on people who already pay for the same/similar services in their own Counties.

These workers (estimated at 13,700 + /day) buy gas, lunch, dinner, clothing, car washes, autos and auto repairs, childcare, etc., etc. while in this County on a daily basis. By the way, they also pay sales tax on these items.

There is very little interest on their part to continue spending money in this County if an income tax is imposed. CSEA would support any such action and indeed lend any assistance it can to that effort.

Tell your County Legislative Representatives that an Income Tax/Commuter Tax on workers is a bad idea! It is punitive to many County residents (particularly those with lower incomes) and discriminates against non-resident County workers.

If you support the people who work in this County, CSEA and it's affiliates will continue to support you.

I don't expect an income tax to come to Tompkins County any time soon, but it feels unusual to see a civil service union addressing merchants in a call opposing a tax.

In other tax news, the County Library postponed a referendum for a library tax in the Ithaca and Lansing school districts.

Posted by simon at March 23, 2005 8:49 AM in , , , , , , ,
Note on photos