A financial adviser suggests a school tax hike in Dunkirk | News, Sports, Jobs

Richard Stamps

A financial consultant who conducted a long-term analysis of the Dunkirk school district said Tuesday that the district’s finances are currently sound, but its sources of revenue may not be.

He therefore proposes tax increases.

“The neighborhood is doing well” Dr Richard Timbs spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic, during a meeting of the Dunkirk School Board.

He noted that the district had received a “one-time savings” in the past two school years due to the pandemic: “In the past two years, your district has not had to run buses for 180 continuous days.”

Dunkirk schools currently have a fund balance of $6,723,179, according to Timbs’ presentation. Although the district spent $977,650 more than it took in in 2020-21, it recouped it through state COVID relief funding.

“This has been fixed and has happened to every district in the state,” said Timbs.

Overall, the numbers “Tell us the district is healthy right now,” he said.

However, due to rising costs of doing business, uncertainty over state aid and the expected end of COVID funding, Timbs suggested a 10% increase in taxes between 2022 and 2027.

“It is not desirable, but it is necessary” he said. “What we don’t want to hear five years from now is that you’ve lowered taxes but you don’t have enough money anymore.”

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