Smarter CATS BLOG with "SCATS" - Smarter Citizens for Accountability in the Town & Schools
Why does Geo show Prop 1&2 together in Col B?Seems complicated.
To 4:10PM ~~ I'll let him respond to that. However, nothing GCSD does with taxpayer money is straightforward ... except to spend it & ask for more!
Enter politics. A paid polical add by G, Hubbard if I read it right. This was Hubbard's job at Kodak crunching numbers. You have to be a CPA understand his computations. But that's the purpose of the add Afterall
To: 4:10pm1. This question has a simple answer for my part... I’d love to hear GCSD explanation.2. For me, the figures in Col B, Prop 1&2 (pg 6*) come directly from the GCSD mailing page 6... it provides an exact paper trail for my calculation of figures in Col D... Col D, Prop 2 (calc) is what voters need to know... GCSD never has shown the Col D figures.3. The more complex question that deserves an answer is, why did GCSD publish the figures Prop 1&2 on page 6 of the mailing... when the combination of Prop 1&2 is not presented to voters?4. One hypothesis is that it ‘scrambles’ so voters will not know/can not easily determine true costs for Prop2 (total cost= $12.5M, interest= $4.0M, State Aid= $2.8M... 23% not 78% of total cost).5. If a better explanation isn’t put forth, BOE and residents should be seeking disciplinary action for perverse actionsComments/questions invited.Geo. Hubbard
To 6:45PM ~~ His points seem very straightforward to me and I'm no CPA. Did you go to GCSD for your math?TY George for uncovering the hidden truth!
The 3 words, “Paid Political Advertisement” are required by Messenger Post Media to distinguish such announcements from regular business ads in the Greece Post publication.They told me there was no charge!
To: 6:45pmSorry for moving so fast with the table... simple as 1, 2, 3. That high level CPA math? Two subtractions, one division!Col D is what GCSD never said about PROP2/STADIUM... left it as an exercise for voters... maybe you missed it:1. Line 2: $61.1M minus (1st subtraction) $48.6M= $12.5M Total Cost.2. Line 3: $41.8M minus (2nd subtraction) $3.9M= $2.8M State Aid.3. Line 3: $2.8M divided by $12.5M= 23% State Aid Share... not 78% as many believe.Remember ‘anonymous’... I alone paid so you would know the truth, but GCSD makes you pay for perverse omissions!Hope this helps!Geo Hubbard
To George.i understand your math but have serious doubts about the reimbursement formula. Question. Your aid reimbursement is altogether different from what we are being told by the district. Question I are you implying that the district is engaged in out right lies regarding their formula which iscontrary to yours altogether Question 2 where did you come up with a formula that is the direct opposite of their claim?Question 3 if memory serves me right I believe you were a board member when the 2000 CIP was approved. Was the reimbursement formula the same for that CIP or was it as I recall 80 % state and 20% local? If so what am I missing here as I always believed the tthe formula was as as above?It would seem to make sense because if it was as you say a CIP would never stand a chance in hell of being approved by the taxpayers because of taxing effect on their tax bills. Question 4. Are or are these propositions not a part of the entire proposed CIP which includes repairs, upgrades and replacement of district infrastructure ?
To 1:57PM ~~ I'm sure George will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only aid amount in question is for Propsition 2 - the stadium. My recall is that to get any aid at all for the sports complex, they MUST attach the stadium project to Capital Improvements being made to a school building at the same location. That aid amount is reimbursed at a much lower amount than for the requested projects on individual school buildings which is closer to 80%.
To: 1:57pm... thanks for posting... let me respond in bite sized pieces. And, please take note, GCSD is the source of all $ figures (recent 8 page mailing, in writing) used in my Col B and C. Col D is calculated: Col D= Col B minus Col C.1. You say, “To George.i understand your math but have serious doubts about the reimbursement formula.”1a. I neither state nor imply any ‘reimbursement formula’... GCSD has published figures based upon their (or a consultants) interpretation of state aid formula.1b. If by formula you might be referring to ‘23% State Aid’... $2.8M divided by $12.5M= 23% (22% with rounded numbers). If you understand my math, how can you have doubt about the 23%?1c. GCSD owns the raw $ figures per pages 5 & 6 in recent mailing... $41.8M minus $39.0M= $2.8M. And $61.1M minus $48.6M= $12.5M. GCSD figures, GH math!1d. Again, I have said nothing about and have not used a ‘reimbursement formula’.2. You say, “Question. Your aid reimbursement is altogether different from what we are being told by the district. “2a. I don’t know what ‘you have been told by the district’. Has it been verbal? Is it in writing? If in writing, please show me.2b. I am not aware of GCSD publishing state aid/Stadium reimbursement figures either as dollar amount... or a percentage.2c. You have seen my assertion... and know how I got there.3. You say,“Question I are you implying that the district is engaged in out right lies regarding their formula which iscontrary to yours altogether “3a. I’m not implying anything... my statements of fact are simple declarative sentences.3b. As for ‘their formula’, I stand by “2b.” above.3c. What GCSD has said in writing is not a lie... I have used their numbers without reservation. It's what they HAVE NOT said in WRITING that is the problem... though they did caught in their own web. Read on!3d. At a public info meeting Mar 3/5 (Thr) the figures of 92% Prop1 and 78% Prop2 were spoken... and later walked back when I pointed out contradictions with written figures on their slides.3e. I am aware many ‘Stadium Enthusiast’ believe they have been told State Aid Share= 78%. One such SE leader person has contacted me directly... can’t accept 23% as correct... this person is researching it.4. You say,“Question 3 if memory serves me right I believe you were a board member when the 2000 CIP was approved. Was the reimbursement formula the same for that CIP or was it as I recall 80 % state and 20% local? If so what am I missing here as I always believed the tthe formula was as as above?”4a. I was BOE member Jul/2002 thru Jun/2005.4b. As I recall, the $119.5M mother of all GCSD CIPs was approved June/2000.4c. I had no firsthand knowledge of 80%/20% figures, so I can not add anything to discussion.4d. As for ‘what am I missing here’, what can I say. Your understanding is far above average... you’re interested enough to post on SCATS... give me a call, I’d love to talk with you.5. You say,“It would seem to make sense because if it was as you say a CIP would never stand a chance in hell of being approved by the taxpayers because of taxing effect on their tax bills.”5a. I agree. But it is not my purpose to promote a ‘no’ vote... rather to help voters make informed decisions... and approve expenditures wisely.Hope this helps.Comments/questions invited.Geo Hubbard
George, thanks for your response.I did know that this project had to be part of a CIP. I,m still somewhat confused as to how you arrived at your percentages if as you say the district never expressed their own estimate of State aid versus local responsibility.In light of this would it be fair to say that announced related taxing implication over the 15 yr life of the Project as I recall and because as I am writing this without my copy of the flyer available ,was reported to be in the $20 to $25 range on a $100,000 property less the Star program per year was accurate? If so, the district would have had to know and take into consideration the lower reimbursement for the stadium and the higher amount for the rest of the items in order to arrive at those figures would you agree?I'm more of a dollar and cents type. Percentages are confusing as opposed to real numbers.
To: SCATS1. Let me narrow the dialog to the ‘WHAT’ of state aid and not the ‘WHY’ and ‘HOW’ of state aid formulas etc.2. You say,“My recall is that to get any aid at all for the sports complex, they MUST attach the stadium project to Capital Improvements being made to a school building at the same location. That aid amount is reimbursed at a much lower amount than for the requested projects on individual school buildings which is closer to 80%.”2a. I have nothing to contribute to your comments.3. You say,“To 1:57PM ~~ I'm sure George will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the only aid amount in question is for Propsition 2 - the stadium.”Well, almost, but not quite.3a. Yes, State Aid as a percentage [of cost] is in question for Prop1 and Prop2.3b. For Prop2, GCSD 8 page mailing did not state:State Aid dollar amount.Total Cost dollar amount.State Aid percentage of Total Cost.3c. I am aware of GCSD expressing verbally... Prop2 State Aid= 78% at a public meeting. Meeting leader later walked back 78% to an unspecified lower figure.3d. I calculate Prop2 State Aid= 23%.4. Regarding Prop1:4a. GCSD has stated in writing:State Aid dollar amount.Total Cost dollar amount.4b. I am aware of GCSD expressing verbally... Prop1 State Aid= 92% at a meeting. Meeting leader later walked back 92% to an unspecified lower figure.4c. I calculate Prop1 State Aid= 80%.In summary, certain information important to voters is hidden, and some is omitted. Incorrect information (State Aid as percent) has been spoken, but not written.Comments/questions invited.Geo Hubbard
George ~~ My comments are based upon dialog from BOE meetings a number of months back. The finance folks made the statements.
George...the article in the D&C today seems to have the numbers finally accurate from the GCSD. Do you concur?Albert Ficus
To Mr Hubbard , I too share the concerns of 6:06. I couldn't care less about all these percentages being tossed around. What I want to know is if this passes, what is the actual dollar amount that will be added to my tax bill. Have you any reason to believe it will be more than what the district is saying please tell me if you know if it will be more than advertised by the district.If you can tell me what your calculations indicate because it will have a definate impact on my vote especially if I have been misled by district officials in this regard. Thank you in advance.
Re: " I couldn't care less about all these percentages being tossed around."Translated it means you don't care to know the whole truth. That's a large part of the problem that feeds the DYSFUNCTION in the Town of Greece and its schools. SHEEPLE.
To: 7:37am/Albert... thanks for posting.You say,“George...the article in the D&C today seems to have the numbers finally accurate from the GCSD. Do you concur?”1. To say ‘finally accurate’ implies the numbers were not accurate before. It’s like the question, have you stopped beating your wife? I have never taken issue with the ACCURACY of GCSD ‘WRITTEN NUMBERS’.2. It’s the obscure and confusing information... along with certain facts omitted... that leave voters misled and ill-informed.3. So as I believe you intended your question, yes, I agree with the GCSD cost figures in the D&C. However, my agreement does not include undocumented spoken numbers... and taxpayer numbers in the article.4. More importantly to your question, the D&C article puts in the public record three figures that have been hidden previously for Prop2/Stadium: a) Total Cost= $12 million (a little sleight-of-hand rounded $12.53M down to “...about $12 million...” in the article), b) $2.8M State Aid, and c) $9.7M remaining local share.5. These are important for voters. First, the $8.5M Stadium plus $4.0M interest will cost $12.5M total. Remember, the Stadium is a discretionary expenditure, and GCSD had $29M+/- Fund Balance as of last June 30, 2014.5a. Second, Stadium State Aid= $2.8M has been hidden from voters previously. And, what D&C did not say is, State Aid Percentage= 23% of Total Cost, not 78% as many Stadium Enthusists claim they have been told and are quoting.5b. Third, local share= $9.7M is new for voters... yes, $1.2M more than $8.5M Stadium! With $29M in the bank, does this make sense?In summary, the D&C article is a significant step forward... voters better informed, but not properly informed.Comments/questions invited.Geo Hubbard
SCATs are you calling me a SHEEPLE.? I see nothing wrong with my attempt to get Mr Hubbard's view on what he believes is the exact dollar amount that my tax bill will be if this passes. I know what the district says but because he has done so much hard work in an effort to keep me informed, I felt that he could help me understand what my actual dollar cost is relative to percentage numbers he has uncovered and published. To me that is the most important number attached to this proposal.As far as Iam concerned that is the bottom line. What is the actual dollar amount that Iam going to pay. That's all the informed information I need to make a decision on this upcoming vote.As a result I prefer to await Mr Hubbard's response as he has readily responded to other questions.
To George. This morning D &. C confirmed the dollar amounts that were put forth by the district. Since your latest post did not take issue with the dollar amounts so stated by the district in their press release, and confirmed what I was first led to believe regarding the dollar amount attached to a $100.000 home as the total tax implication for the entire CIP, I will assume you agree with those figures in the absence of dissent from you, I believe I now have all the information I need to cast an informed vote on the proposal. Having said this there is no need to respond to my question . Thanks for all the work you did to help me and others better understand the implications of this CIP
To: 6:06pm – thanks for posting.1. You said,“George, thanks for your response...I,m still somewhat confused as to how you arrived at your percentages if as you say the district never expressed their own estimate of State aid versus local responsibility.”1a. Let me clarify, I never have said GCSD did not know/estimate State Aid in dollar amounts. Clearly they did... that’s where I got the raw figures to compute percentages, but district did not express their estimates in writing publicly.1b. My claim has been (changed today with D&C article) GCSD was not reporting certain information in clear, simple terms to voters... most specifically for Prop2/Stadium, yet Stadium Enthusiasts in the community were saying they had been told, for example Stadium State Aid= 78%.1c. D&C article pg 10A today (Thr 3/12) Stadium State Aid= $2.8M... first time in public.1d. I have known this by unscrambling other GCSD information... and reported it on SCATS... and it’s in my Greece Post advertisement posted at the top of this thread... and published page A9 today 3/12... see tabular info, Col D, Ln 3.1e. You claim to be ‘confused as to how [I] arrived at percentages’: $2.8M State Aid/$12.5M Total Cost= 23% (22% with unrounded numbers).2. I’ll speak to tax bill figures in a reply to you and 10:07am jointly.3. When it comes to open communications between GCSD and residents, can you see an issue developing for upcoming BOE election?Hope this helps.Comments/questions invited.Geo. Hubbard
A point I don't think I've seen made anywhere yet is that FEW people in Greece live in a home valued at $100,000 (or less) these days! My most recent GCSD mailing CONFUSES (outright lies, actually) by stating that the "Estimated MAXIMUM Annual Tax Impact" is $12/15 yrs. on the stadium Prop. and $5/yr. for 15 years on Prop. 1.If your home is assessed ABOVE $100,000 (most Greece homes are since the "average" home is assessed around $125,000 !!), YOU WILL PAY MORE depending on your exemptions!
To: 10:07am and 6:06pm – thanks for posting.1. 6:06 you said,“To Mr Hubbard , I too share the concerns of 6:06… What I want to know is if this passes, what is the actual dollar amount that will be added to my tax bill. Have you any reason to believe it will be more than what the district is saying please tell me if you know if it will be more than advertised by the district.”1. As concerns the actual dollar amount to be added to your tax bill, I can not answer your question... and I don’t believe anyone else can either. The whole notion of a tax add-on that doesn’t change for 15 years is an over simplification that, without numerous assumptions, is flawed.2. There are several points of caution to consider for add-ons looking forward.3. First, notice that the GCSD “Projected Tax Impact” table (recent mailer, page 3) is constructed in such a way that the tax add-on remains unchanged for 15 years... for a home with unchanging assessment and STAR benefit. But, is this reality? What if your assessment goes up?3a. According to “Cost per $1,000 of taxable...” figures on page 1, if your assessment goes up your tax add-on will increase too.3b. And the Impact Table treats the future homeownership as a static situation. The potential from inflation and economic growth/decline on home prices is left to voters to figure out for themselves. GCSD’s idea of projected impact is to compute for 1 year (without specifics) and multiply by 15!4. Second, notice when using the “Projected Tax Impact” table (mailer, page 3) it makes no mention of the year for which the quoted tax add-on applies. Is it the 1st, the 5th, the 10th or some other year? Calculating tax add-ons requires knowing, or assuming, a figure for Total Taxable Assessed Valuation as published in every year in May (an impotant reason to do all voting May) to determine the following year’s Tax Rate. GCSD hasn’t said.5. Lastly, the whole notion of an actual/fixed dollar add-on to any homeowner’s annual tax bill... that doesn’t change for 15 years to repay bonds is flawed... it’s a mirage! GCSD personnel know, or should know, this to be unsound information. I’ll explain this more in a later post.Comments/questions invited.Geo. Hubbard
The D&C article puts another missing piece in the puzzle on local share and interest cost.Prop1 Bldg R&R: local $4.1 million and interest $13.6.Prop2 Stadium: local $9.7 million and interest $4.0million.Smallest local share by 1/2 has largest interest cost by 3.What was the board thinking? My vote is NO and NO!!!
My recent 4.25” x 5.5” postcard mailing says:Prop1... “The district seeks $35 million to make repairs...”. No, other publications tell me the district seeks $48.6 million to make $35 million of repairs and pay $17.6 million in interest... where the Local Share Remaining is only $4.1 million.Prop2... “The district seeks $8.5 million to build an athletic stadium...”. No, the district seeks $12.5 million to build $8.5 million stadium and pay $4.0 million in interest.Prop3... "The district seeks approval to use $207 thousand of 2014-15 fund balance money to purchase four acres...". No, the fund balance results from excess money over several years to operate the schools and should be used for such or lower taxes as intended, and not to make backdoor purchases of land to increase stadium parking.The truth is a moving target in GCSD!
George thanks for your analysis and discourse on this important subject. I have come to the realization that I do not really own my home I just rent it from the school district. "A mans home is his castle" rrrright. We spend on average about 200 million a year on education and no one is happy. Not the teachers, the students, the admin people, the bus drivers, and on and on. I truly think that the students are in fact under served and in my opinion. The latest goings on with the student abuse thing and a female adult staffer reportedly having inappropriate contact with male students is very troubling. I do think that the security function at the district is deficient and would really like to know why we continually need to hire PD retreads who in my view have little if any motivation they already have a pension and dont need the job. I have learned that when a politician or other public figure states that they "believe something" they really don't know or are lying. You may believe that you can fly so jump off of the Veterans bridge and you will find that it ain't so. Saying that you believe that a stadium is good for the district and town does not make it so. This bridge we should not jump from. The fuzzy math and possible inaccuracies in the district case for this is troubling to me very troubling
NOTE: There are some comments received on this & related threads that are NOT being posted. Some of you need to PROOF READ what you write, BEFORE posting it! The jibberish you submit via your auto-correcting cell phone is often unintelligible, riddled with spelling, grammar & punctuation errors or ommissions.IF YOU WANT YOUR COMMENT POSTED, BE SURE IT IS IN ENGLISH.
By the way, it's not OUR FAULT that the unintelligible comments are mostly (but NOT entirely) from the athletic supporters. Maybe you've suffered one concussion too many??
To: 10:52am...thank you for posting... and you’re welcome.1. You touch upon several important points... I agree with many/most... and anyone who can recite $200M/yr for education in GCSD gets my respect for awareness.2. You said,“We spend on average about 200 million a year on education and no one is happy. Not the teachers, the students, the admin people, the bus drivers, and on and on. I truly think that the students are in fact under served and in my opinion. The latest goings on with “3. First, we live in a world of competing special interests. There is no reason to believe this will change... we must adapt and learn to live with it. Moving forward in GCSD depends upon informed and participating voters.4. Second, can I offer a slightly contrarian opinion? It is my opinion GCSD students have been and are generally ‘well served’... in academic offerings, extra curricular activities, teachers and facilities, and caring people with whom they have daily contact. Could be better, perhaps (I’d like to see faster progress on graduation rates and other proxies of achievement), but students are well served with opportunities in general.5. To keep them ‘well served’... in our current and foreseeable economic climate, it is important that we set priorities... and spend our money wisely.5a. If the district priority is to spend $8.5M to build a stadium, I can accept that. But to have $29M+/- sitting in FUND BALANCE and spend $12.5M on an $8.5M stadium is not wise!5b. Actions by BOE to approve a special March vote... with no public explanation of Stadium financing alternatives is perplexing.Thank you for being involved... and maintaining awareness.Comments/questions invited.Geo. Hubbard
George ~~ If I'm not mistaken the proposed budget stands at around $218 MILLION !
To: 10:04amI agree, it’s not just HOW MUCH we pay in taxes, it’s also WHAT we’re paying for with taxes!We can probably afford an $8.5M stadium in Greece, but not $4M more for interest.But how should we vote Mar 24?
To: Geo H.Sometimes simpler is easier and better.For 10:07am, 6:06pm, and others concerned about future increases in tax bill add-ons for Prop1 and Prop2.Go to the “Projected Tax Impact”, tableFind “Full Taxable Home Value” in left column... and look right for add-on.For example, for $125,000 home (average for Greece), look right to “No Star” add-on of $21.25 Per Year.Call GCSD general information number 966-2100 and confirm your add-on.Then ask 2 questions:Q1: Will my add-on change over 15years?If they say yes, homeowner has their answerIf GCSD says no, then askQ2: How does GCSD know my assessment won’t go up?Post answer on SCATS!
To: 6:15pmI like your approach... especially “Q2: How does GCSD know my assessment won’t go up”? This is precious!!I predict that failure to explain how the Projected Tax Impact table accounts for assessment growth... will show it is not only useless, but misleading for individual homeowners. It is a sham!Thanks again 615pm.Comments/questions invited.Geo. Hubbard
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