Friday, November 17, 2006

Myth vs. Reality of what your taxes are buying

A group of us have been talking about taxes and funding (too bad our elected officials at city hall don't look closely at this). Of the properties I own or am part owner of in the City, the assessments went up a minimum of 17 percent up to 30 percent. Not all are in the South End, some are in tough areas of Roxbury. Unfortuneately, I and most other residents of the city can't just vote ourselves 17 percent raises in back room deals.

Here are some of the myth v. reality's one accountant friend sent in:

That's the point - it's not what you pay - it's what you get. One idea for the presentation - a "myth/reality" page. The mayor's PR team has done an amazing job of convincing people of things that aren't true. Had drinks with someone yesterday - and he says the schools are underfunded and understaffed, taxes are low (actually for him they are - he has two kids in the Kilmer school and lives in W Roxbury - all the benefits of the suburbs and $5000 in taxes) and life is generally good in Beantown. Here are some examples:

Myth - schools are underfunded Reality - we spend $17,000 per student or $400,000 plus per class

Myth - schools are understaffed Reality - staffing levels per pupil are at all time highs

Myth - schools are improving Reality - scores are up, but we still rank 3rd from the bottom in MCAS and SAT scores

Myth - City struggles to find enough revenues Reality - we spend $3500 per person on city government (we could use some comparisonsto other cities/towns on this)

Myth - Without Mayor Menino - none of the advances of the city would have happened Reality - virtually every city in the country has seen a rennaissance - but we are one of the only ones losing population

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