A recent poll conducted by Sachem Patch revealed that a little less than half of respondents support the Sachem School District going above the 4.7% tax cap in next year's budget, and nearly 30% are calling out for a zero tax increase.
The poll was split fairly evenly among four scenarios, ranging from a full 16% tax hike, to an 8% increase, to the 4% under cap, to zero percent hike. According to the relatively small sample (77 respondents at print time), 29% voted against any tax increases, despite the looming $26 million in cuts the district would have to make.
Meanwhile, 32% voted in favor of the full 16% hike in taxes, a measure that would essentially allow the district to roll out its budget untouched. Another 15% voted to split the difference and introduce an 8% increase. Both scenarios would need a supermajority 60% vote approval because they would both blow the top off of the state mandated tax cap.
In total 69% of the poll respondents recognized the need for some tax increase.
Last night, the Sachem Board of Education asked Associate Superintendent Bruce Singer to put together a budget outlook that would reflect an 11% increase for the next board meeting. In the meantime, a bus full of Sachem advocates are in Albany today petitioning for greater state aid to the district to help alleviate the tax levy or force the district to make drastic cuts in services.