From Randy: Great page on the Oh Ho Ho Ski slope. You can still see the slope as you travel on Rt 197 right near Polebridge Road.
There have been several discussions here at the Cafe about the deflationary nature of Prop 46 in the past that you can search and find. It boils down to a few simple factors:
1) Prop 46′s allowed growth in town revenues is tied exclusively to growth in the grand list (the list of the value of taxable property in Woodstock). There is no tie to, nor accounting for, inflation. We are dependant completely on property becoming more valuable from year to year in a faster rate than inflation. Hopefully there will be no downturns in the real estate market and people will continue to buy new houses in Woodstock…
2) It gets better, what I said above is only true in non-revaluation years. For reevaluation years (when we recalculate what everyone’s property is worth) we end up with “For revaluation years the total of the dollar increase will be limited to the lowest of the dollar increase of the last year or the average dollar increase of the last three years.” Reevaluation years are locked to a low dollar increase number. So we can’t simply increase the mill rate! In fact, we calculate the max revenue allowed to the town and then back calculate the mill rate to reach that number.
3) But that’s not all. Prop 46 is not only disassociated with any growth in inflation, it is disassociated with growth in the need for services. For example if we build a new house in town and a family moves into it, the growth in town revenues is locked down to the increase in the grand lists that family’s property gave the town. So for the average house, what about $5000 in increased revenues for the town? Each child that family has will cost an additional $10,000 (approx) in extra needed spending by the government for education. That’s a problem.
Prop 46 has no way to deal with these other than hoping a large number of DINKs move to town and buy new houses. That is the only way the problem won’t become acute enough over time where action will be forced in reference to prop 46. If I were a conspiracy theorists I would say that best way to make sure Prop 46 didn’t become an acute problem would be to sink the education system so that no parents with children would want to move to town. But I’m not a conspiracy theorist.
This post represents my personal opinions and in no way should be considered an official act of the BOE or that I am speaking on behalf of the BOE in any way.