Yesterday, on WVOX Radio, you asserted as fact that downtown development in New Rochelle has produced a $2 million surplus in school revenue when compared to the costs associated with the children's education from these developments. When I called into WVOX radio to challenge this assertion you cut me off. Is this your idea of public service? You make unsubstantiated claims and then suppress those among the public who dare question your claims?
As you chose to cut me off yesterday, refusing to respect honest disagreement, I call on you today to release the study or analysis which supports your claim of a $2 million surplus.
Such a study would list individual projects -- by full legal name & address -- whether each project was a private deal or a partnership with the City of New Rochelle and what size and type of tax abatements they received (IDA, PILOT, mortgage recording, sales tax on building materials, purchase of land from the IDA for $1 etc.). Most importantly, the study would show what the taxes would be for each project at 100% valuation.
On the revenue side, the study would include a detailed breakdown of precisely what revenue you are attributing to these projects -- property tax, sales tax and so on.
On the cost side, your study would show precisely how many children attend New Rochelle Public Schools in each project. Since we know that on average the school district spends about $20,000 per student, the cost side should have been easy to calculate.
The public can then an do their own math to determine what sort of "surplus" -- if any -- has been created.
I would like to see you go even further and provide figures on the following; costs of increased city services (police, fire & sanitation) to support these projects, costs of increased sanitary sewer treatment for bulk waste to support these projects, and the costs o flood mitigation from storm water runoff due to the massive increase in impervious surfaces in New Rochelle as result of these projects. With this information, the public can then get a complete sense of the "surplus" at both the School District level and City government level.
Mayor, you have put forward a very specific figure -- two million dollars in surplus -- but failed to cite any independent research or analysis behind the claim. If there really is a study it is a public record and the people have a right to read it for themselves. If there is no such study you should acknowledge that and admit that your claim of a "surplus" is speculative, based purely on a combination of anecodotal evidence and wishful thinking on your part.