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Town of Ashford and West Valley school taxes shocking


Welcome to the New Year. Last month, we heard the good news about how the West Valley School District was stockpiling money by slowly overtaxing the populace, a little at a time. The strategy was to take it in small amounts and the taxpayer will barely notice it. Shuffle it around and the comptroller will take years to catch on that you are manipulating the rules on reserve levels. Apparently, the town board stood up and took cash before the school district took it for themselves.

Fortunately for the town board, the comptroller makes it relatively easy. All they needed to do was pass a town law to let them ignore the 2 percent tax cap. In West Valley, that’s easy, no one will come to the public hearing, and even if they did, who cares, just ignore them. So they did pass the law and now they were free to raise the taxes as much as they saw fit.

I would write the comptroller to complain, but I am certain that, just like with the school board, the best he would do is offer suggestions. Suggestions which, by the way, they have no intention to listen to, if you read the entire letter of response from them to the comptroller. So, like the school board, the town board acts with total lack of regard to the financial situation of its constituency.

Here comes the shock – the town tax increase this year will be 36.5 percent. I had to read it several times, before I could believe it. What about the awe? That’s easy, it has been in place for generations. Awe – no one will complain, protest, say a word or even show up to vote.

Stay tuned howeve. The town board and school have a master plan. Just like in the past, when the nuclear industry came into town and saved us from ourselves, there is another rescuer at our doorsteps. We will surely hand over our souls to the big gas and oil industry and welcome hydrofracking into our back yards. By refusing to pass any town law to stop or limit fracking, they have already staked their position.

Arthur Munson
West Valley

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