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Cardozo details school budget at council meeting

February 20, 2014

RICHMOND — At the town council meeting, School Committee Member Robert Cardozo reported that even though Richmond’s cost will increase 1.31 percent, the 2015 Chariho school budget will be $500,000 less than 2014. He also said that Charlestown’s portion will decrease 2.6 percent and Hopkinton’s will be 2.71 percent less than in 2014.

He said that the major reason for Richmond’s increase was twofold.
“One is decrease in state aid to education – ours went down by approximately $140,000. And our population in the district went up – and that is the offsets as to why Richmond is up a little bit,” he said.
Cardozo said that state aid to education is the “great equalizer” because the amount each town will contribute is very similar: Charlestown 32.8 percent, Richmond 34.2 percent, and Hopkinton 33 percent.

“When you start to look what state aid to education, Richmond got $5.2 million, Hopkinton got $5.6 million, and Charlestown got 1.7 million,” he said. “That’s the equalizer – the state aid to education. It’s something that people have to start to understand.”

Town Council Vice President Henry Oppenheimer disagreed.

“When you look at what people pay on an equalized valuation property basis, we’re still, and Hopkinton is still, paying significantly more than Charlestown,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Oppenheimer added, “And that’s how taxpayers look at it – what they’re paying for the same education. I don’t think I’m going to subscribe as a town councilor to that being an equalizer because it is not.”

Cardozo said that his perspective was from the three towns’ contributions to the district, not the individual taxpayer’s.

“As three towns’ contributions to the district, it is somewhat equal,” he said. “If you’re going to say on an individual basis, you have a case. But, not if you look at it from a town basis, you don’t have a case.”

For more, pick up today's Chariho Times.

Source 
Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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