I know that property taxes are assessed every year. The text of this article says, "Cars valued at less than $28,500 would be exempt from local property taxes under a budget proposal Wednesday afternoon from Gov. Dannel Malloy."
So if your car is assessed at $30K, would you pay property taxes (i.e., the mill rate) on the $1,500 over $28,500 or on the whole $30,000? If it's the later, then you can have a situation where a $28,000 car has $0 property tax but a $29,000 car has a $2,000 sales tax (or whatever the mill rate would dictate). View Comment
So is this going to be a cliff tax, or is the tax only going to apply to the value over $28,500? So if you have a car worth $30,000, do you pay taxes on $30,000 or $1,500? If it's the whole amount, isn't that going to put a massive hit on new car sales (buy a $30,000 car and pay $2,000 in taxes; but a $28,000 slightly used car and pay $0?). View Comment
Since I am not a gun guy (don't own any), I don't know much about magazines. So my question is, how hard is it for a hobbyist to make a large magazine? Is it just a square metal or plastic box with a spring loader at the bottom? In other words, would it be difficult to make your own high capacity magazine, or do they need to be fairly precise to prevent jamming? I think I remember that a recent high profile shooting rampage (the Arizona guy?) featured a high capacity magazine that did jam, and I saw someone claim that high capacity magazines were more prone to jamming, but I don't know.
Is there any legitimate hunting application, or even self defense application, where you need more than a 10 round magazine? I haven't seen any claims that high capacity magazines have any really useful application except for military or law enforcement. View Comment
You need 38 state legislatures to go along with overturning the second amendment (which could be accomplished only as a new constitutional amendment). Since there are only 50 states, 13 states could essentially block any amendment. I doubt you could even get 25 states to approve a new amendment overturning the second amendment. Even "blue" states like Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa would be tough. View Comment
The gunman apparently tried to purchase a gun at this store, but didn't want to go through the background check. Some other news article say this is not confirmed. In any event, this particular store was named in many news articles as being tangentially related to the events (the gunman ultimately used the guns owned by his mother). There's probably no way to confirm if he went there but then decided not to go through a background check (there'd be no paper trail).
Not sure if I'd say only paranoid people own guns: by most reports, over a third of households own a gun.
I think it would be odd to redistrict one year, then close a school a year or two later, which would require significant redistricting again. I'm not sure how much redistricting is needed at the present if we keep six schools. From what I've read on various forums, my impression is that Branchville is currently fairly full and Ridgebury (the largest school) has a lot of excess capacity. That doesn't bode well for a simple redistricting, as you can't transfer kids from Branchville to Ridgebury as they are on opposite ends of town. But without more information, I don't know if Branchville needs to just move a handful of kids out, which could be absorbed by Veterans or Farmingville (?) or if it's more involved with them needing to move more kids out. But I don't really know what the capacity levels of each school are vs. current enrollment (and how much higher 4th and 5th grade are than the other grades, since they'd be gone by the time redistricting was implemented).
I don't think there would be any significant financial savings to redistricting, while the savings for closing a school is usually indicated to be $1 million per year. If that's accurate (and it sounds reasonable to me), that would represent a savings of $500 per elementary school student (as we won't close a school until we go under 2,000 students). 2,000 students in five schools would be 400 students per school, on average. In the 2006-2007 school year, there were 2,423 students; in the 2007-2008, there were 2,382, and these were spread through six schools. So these are right around the 400 students per school. Some people have claimed that closing a school would result in a decline in real estate values, however, we'd be going back to the same enrollment level per school as we had when real estate prices were significantly higher.
So if we can really save $1 million more per year by closing a school than through redistricting, after taking into account all costs (for instance, closing a school might require adding an extra bus or two, I don't know), it's hard to say that closing a school would be a huge negative. More kids would need to switch schools than would need to switch through simple redistricting, but the average number of kids per school would be what they were a few years ago. There is the factor of enrollment rising again 10 years down the line. The last time we re-opened a school, it was fairly expensive, but there were supposedly some unique circumstances. I can't imagine, however, that if we kept a school closed for 10 years, there'd be no net savings over keeping it open. So based on the incomplete information that I have, I'm certainly leaning more towards closing a school if enrollment projections and cost savings are accurate (and this year, the demographic projection was off by I think 1 or 2 students district wide).
It may be $100 per taxpayer, but it's also $500 per elementary student (if there is a $1 million annual savings and there are 2,000 students in the elementary school system). So as parents of elementary school children, and as taxpayers, we need to ask ourselves a few questions.
First, would education be worse at five schools than at six? In 2007, there were roughly 2,400 students in the elementary schools, and there were six schools, so an average of 400 students per school. If we drop to 2,000 elementary students, with five schools, that would work out to be 400 students per school. So is there something fundamentally different now than there was in 2007 or so? Bear in mind that many teachers from the closed school would likely be reassigned to other schools.
Second, are the $1 million savings real? I would assume that they are (one less principal, school nurse, other maintenance costs, some facility costs such as lower HVAC, and a few teachers, etc), but they may not be for some reason. I haven't checked the assumptions. There could be things like bus routes that affect the results as well.
Third, assuming that the savings are real, is it fair to ask the collective taxpayers of town to pay $500 per elementary student so the students don't have to go through whatever ordeal there would be in shifting schools from one school in Ridgefield to another. (It wouldn't be just kids from the closed schools that would shift. From a cursory review of the map, I would guess a lot of Barlow kids would have to get shifted to Ridgebury if either SES or FES closes-- Ridgebury has space, and Barlow is the only school district that's really practical to send there). Bear in mind that if kids did shift schools, many of their co-students would as well, so it wouldn't be as jarring as what would happen if a child's family moved to another town. Also bear in mind that even if we don't close a school, there will probably be some zone changes, although they would obviously be much less severe.
$1 million savings on $87 million isn't that much, but there are large parts of the budget that are untouched: high school, middle school, special ed, etc. However, with 2,000 elementary students, $1 million in savings is $500 per student. View Comment
If you live on a state road, you can leave the brush, and the state will pick it up. State roads are 33, 35, 7, 116, Catoonah, West Mountain, Barry and 102 (I think that's it, but I might have missed one). After last October's snow storm, many people left debris on the side of state roads, and the state did pick it up. It took about four weeks to pick up the debris in front of our house... View Comment