â€œAbout 3300 Woodstock adults would experience â€¦a 64% reduction in town taxesâ€¦â€?
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the unfair nature of our property tax structure. Woodstockâ€™s operating budget (including education costs) is almost $20 million and the education part of this budget is almost $14.5 million. For education, Woodstock receives approximately 33% of the cost of our education system from the state or approximately $4.8 million. So Woodstock has to raise approximately $15 million this year to pay for all of the services that the town provides.
Woodstockâ€™s population is about 7000 with approximately 2800 tax-paying residences. So if we divide 2800 into $15 million, the average tax burden per resident is about $5300 per tax-paying residence or couple. My wife and I pay about $3000 per year for our modest property but my relatives in town pay about $8500 for their much larger property. So within our two families the average is $5750/year per property.
But this level of taxation is grossly unfair because about two-thirds of what we pay in property taxes goes to education – in my case (and my wifeâ€™s) this amounts to $2000/year. But my child is finished with the Woodstock school system and I am faced with paying 10â€™s of thousands of dollars or up to $100,000 over the next four years.
And, what about the automobile tax that Govenor Rell disingenuously proposed to eliminate so that we could all get some relief (and get her elected)? This automobile tax seems appropriate to me, and should be maintained. I suggest that money raised by this tax should be restricted to maintaining the roads, and that renters in town who own cars should also pay this tax. Read the rest of this entry »