First, we want to say that we hope you and your family are safe as we experience this unprecedented time with Covid-19. Covid-19 has had an impact on Paterson, the Nation and the educational experience of our children. We are doing everything in our power to improve the educational experience for the children of Paterson. You might have seen some of this with the continued deployment of Chromebooks to our students and the revamping of our Virtual/Distance educational model. More improvements are coming as we continue to learn and adjust to this new normal.
We wanted to take a moment and bring you up to speed on the current budget cycle we are in. We are sure by now you have heard the Board and Paterson Public Schools is proposing at 14% tax increase. As you know many of the Board, PPS staff and teachers are homeowners in Paterson, and we are directly impacted by any increase of tax.
So, we want to explain what the tax increase means to the average homeowner in Paterson. A 14% increase on a $190,000 assessed house is an extra $4.63 in taxes per week, $20 a month or $241 per year. Staying with the same $190,000 assessed home with a $10,000 annual property tax bill for example, the new annual tax bill would be $10,241 this would be an increase is 2.4% per year not 14%.
Why do we need the additional $241 on a house assessed at $190,000? We need the increased revenue to help provide laptops to our young learners, to improve the distance/remote learning, to implement more intervention programs to improve the reading/math levels, provide needed programs to our special need’s children and to save jobs.
We are not minimizing any tax increase to the homeowners of Paterson, however we wanted you to know there would be further cuts to our young learner’s education experience, more overcrowding of classes and even less educators if we did not ask for $241 more from an house assessed at $190,000.
We hope that this message helps you better understand the current budget cycle we are in. The BOE and PPS are working very hard to increase our revenue and to look for more cost savings opportunities that do not include laying off our critical needed teachers.
School board president Kenneth Simmons
Vice president Manny Martinez