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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tax hike referendum sinks like a stone

The Bristol Township School District signed on to Act 72, the property tax shift proposal that 80% of school districts rejected. To my knowledge Bristol was the only district out of the more than one-hundred Act 72 districts that sought to spend more than the referendum index.

According to the Bucks County Courier Times, Bristol's index was 6%, which meant the district could increase tax by $152 on the average home without having to ask permission. But the district wanted another $48 per average household. Voters said "NO", resoundingly. Nevertheless, property taxes are STILL going up in Bristol by the 6%, like it or not. This is the problem with all of the referendum provisions that have been coming out Harisburg. They are "referendum in name only." They don't fully empower taxpayers to control school spending. 6 percent??? Without any taxpayer say????

Although the district appparently "needed" this extra money enough to ask the voters, it now appears that they've found other areas to cut some fat to balance the budget. Go figure, but isn't that they way it is supposed to work? In fact, districts should be cutting out their fat LONG BEFORE they start raising taxes or even asking taxpayer for more $$. Of course, Bristol taxpayers didn't totally avert a tax increase, but at least they get to keep that other $48 that the district will apparently do without...without any problem.

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