At a time when Westbrook citizens have been calling on the school district and municipality to hold the line on tax increases, some question, and fairly so, whether this will ever happen. The yearly increase in taxes, don’t seem to be taking into account people’s ability to pay. A local woman said, “I mean, if they didn’t get the message loud and clear that they have the opportunity to do this on their own, then they’re just being foolish.”
The average taxpayer will tell you it’s not enough for schools to cite aid reductions, increase in capital expenses and increased pay to unionized teachers and administrators as a reason to increase their spending without also trying to cut their budgets substantially. It should be noted that even when school districts make cuts to some areas of the school budget, they’re often doing so while also increasing spending in other areas. Taxpayers are getting sick of that and I truly expect that when our new tax bills come out, people are going to be very angry.
Taxing entities often tend to claim, “We’ve reduced our budget; we’ve cut our budget.” Well, yes, they did make cuts, but consistently increased spending, period. The cost per pupil has gone up, and it goes up substantially more than the cost of doing business or the cost of living for the average family. There is an old maxim of finances and it says, ‘when you don’t have the money, you stop spending.’
Westbrook residents, I challenge you to start paying attention and go to local school and municipal meeting, voice your opinion and keep your eyes and ears open.
If anybody has a complaint, challenge or opposition to increasing taxes, it is invalid unless they work to start solving it. Show up and speak out, write a letter to a school board member, city councilor or write a letter to the editor this week. The budgets are at least half way done as you read this article.