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Abinanti Disapproves School Tax Cap

The Pleasantville Board of Education received a surprise visitor Tuesday evening at the Pleasantville High School Library Media Center . Tom Abinanti, New York State Assemblyman for the 92nd District, took to the podium unannounced to scrutinize a piece of legislation that would place a tax cap on local school districts. If passed, the proposed tax cap, which has already been passed in the State Senate and is awaiting approval from the State Assembly, would transfer control of school budgets from local voters with the use of a 60 percent vote. Any budget changes exceeding the 2 percent cap would need a 60 percent vote in order to pass. Also, if the budget changes were less than 2 percent, the budget would be automatically approved.

This legislation also proposes that local tax dollars be invested in unfunded state and federal mandates, rather than local education programs.Abinanti shared his disapproval for the bill and explained how it would affect Westchester communities like Pleasantville."I do not support a property tax cap in any way, shape, or form," Abinanti said. "It shouldn't be a mandate from the state but rather, it should be in your hands. We are going to pay more taxes ever year and not on education. This is why we live here and moved here, for our quality of life."After Abinanti's discussion of the recent legislation, the Board returned to their scheduled agenda, during which they introduced the new Pleasantville police chief, Richard Love. The new chief said he hopes to continue the partnership between the school district and the Pleasantville Police Department fostered by former chief Anthony Charlitti. Also, youth officer Jesse Wollman explained to the board his duties in the school district -- educating students of all ages about safety inside and outside of school, including safety on the Internet.In other news, the Board received construction updates on the three-year renovation project at the Pleasantville High School. Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter also presented a review of the district's 2010-11 goals that were achieved, as well as their goals for the 2011-12 school year.

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