Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Letter to the editor

Whether or not we have children in public schools or think the bond is good or bad - our property values are inextricably linked to perception and support of our schools.

According to Sotheby's, this Spring 30% of real estate transactions in Rye involved purchasers from NYC. The majority of these buyers are young families seeking to balance their desires for great schools, satisfactory commutes, sense of community, and budgets. They chose Rye from a total of approximately twenty suburban communities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut which have school rankings in the top 200, according to US News & World Report. While each town certainly has it's advantages and considerations, schools certainly matter.

This buyer base is a critical component in the local real estate market, but is mobile.  If their desire for quality education- which includes the comparative quality of instructions as well as facilities- is not met, they will choose to go elsewhere.  Some point to the recent flat line enrollment trend as a sign the bonds are not needed...what if families are already thinking twice before moving here?

The impact of removing SALT deductions has burdened us all and makes it a difficult time to ask the community for even an modest increase in taxes. That being said, it is important to remember that our effective tax millage rates are actually less than surrounding communities, even once layering on the full impact of both proposed bonds.

We should be doing everything possible to encourage new families to continue to flock to our community. Before the next vote, I urge you to consider the long term impact to the community of not enthusiastically supporting both upcoming ballot measures. Your property value may very well depend on it.

-Stacy Bittel