2012-03-01 / Letters to the Editor

Taxpayers should see entire school budget

The School Committee budget article that appeared in the Feb. 23 issue of the Jamestown Press (“School board Oks $12 million budget”) is of interest to me. While unfunded liability may not fit the exact definition of debt, it is a promise to make funds available in the future so that individuals may have a retirement plan.

Taxpayers Association of Jamestown member Jerome Scott is correct. We have to see all of the fig- ures to understand the budget. To understand $13 million unfunded liability, one has to review the actuarial report for the pension plan.

One needs to know what the assumption is (rate of return on investment) that the actuaries are using. The higher the assumption is, the lower the unfunded, and vice versa.

At one time actuaries used 5 percent as the assumption, and I would think in this day and age, that might be high. The other factor one needs to know is what is the contribution being made to the pension fund?

We are talking about a public school system in Jamestown. The taxpayers are part of the general public. They are asked to pay for the budget. They should be entitled to see all the figures.

Eric Lexow
Hawthorne Road
Jamestown

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