The North Rockland Debt Relief organization is a group of PTA members and concerned citizens working to improve the financial situation our school district and community.
The community of North Rockland needs financial help from our state elected officials. Ten years ago, Mirant Energy sued local municipalities because of property over assessment and won the case. The North Rockland Central School District was court ordered to pay Mirant over $345,000,000 (principle & interest), an overwhelming amount of money. This amount is way more than the operational budget for the entire North Rockland Central School District. This debt was bonded over a 30 year period through 2036. This unfunded mandate of $11,500,000 annually in our school budget is almost 6% of our spending plan and does nothing for our students.
This debt has depleted our district reserves to the point that massive cuts in program are imminent within the next couple of years.
Since the Mirant power plant Court ordered tax refund and subsequent closing the following has happened:
- Our school tax burden has shifted from a commercial base to a residential base. For the 2006-2007 school year, commercial sources paid over 60% of school taxes. In the current year (2015-2016), commercial sources pay only 24% of school taxes. That is a decrease of 44%! Community homeowners now pay a whopping 76% of the school tax burden.
- Residential property taxes have increased up to 94%
- Average residential home values have decreased 30% - 45%
- Two schools have closed
- 395 school positions have been eliminated (including 267 teachers and teaching assistants)
- here are currently 673 homes for foreclosure in the North Rockland Central School District.
- Over 150 businesses have closed since 2007
Our property values are depreciated, our property taxes are skyrocketing, our schools are in dire need of additional funding, and our community is hurting. The NR Debt Relief group is working to pass legislation to help reduce this tax certiorari debt.
Our group is supported by:
- North Rockland PTA Council
- North Rockland Teachers Association
- North Rockland School District Board of Education
- North Rockland School District Administration