I would take issue with three points made in the article entitled “Amity Superintendent Addresses 2019 Budget Surplus.”
First, Amity Superintendent Jenn Byars infers that the Amity surplus for FY 19-20 was due to the pandemic. It was not. The surplus for Amity for FY 19-20 was $3,449,000, only $321,495 higher than the FY 17-18 surplus of $3,127,505. The annual budget surplus situation at Amity is historic, habitual, and overtaxes residents in Orange & Member Towns every year.
Secondly, the Amity BOE approved $1,498,223 in End-of-Year (EOY) purchases, nearly triple the amount of $515,077 as stated in the article.
Finally, Superintendent Byars suggested that having surpluses helps taxpayers as improvements can be paid without the need to take out bonds. I disagree with that assessment.
I would argue surpluses in budgets OVERTAX residents right in the immediate year in which they happen. To quantify this impact, Orange taxpayers have spent $1,300,000 in TAXES in each of the LAST 4 YEARS for what ended up being an Amity SURPLUS due to systemic Amity over-budgeting. These amounts are an unnecessary burden to every taxpayer of Orange, Bethany, and Woodbridge.
Vice-Chairman, Orange Board of Finance