Newton property tax override online discussion

What do you think about the proposed $11.4 million property tax increase in ­Newton?

Marcia Tabenken and School Committee chairwoman Claire Sokoloff, representing Building Newton’s Future, which backs the proposed Proposition 2½ overrides, and Joshua ­Norman and Traute Marshall, with Moving Newton Forward, which opposes the proposals, share their views and take your questions.

To learn more about the property tax override, read our interviews with proponents and opponents of the proposals.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #NewtonOverride.

  • Deirdre Fernandes 2/28/2013 5:30:42 PM
    Welcome to the Boston Globe's online chat on the Newton overrides. We'll be getting started shortly.
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  • Deirdre Fernandes 2/28/2013 5:41:20 PM
    We got this question:
    My daughter attends an elementary school that's in bad shape but isn't one of the schools included in the override to be rebuilt. Will this override help our school too?
    Has the Mayor done any cost-cutting before asking taxpayers for this override?
    What happens if all 3 override parts don't pass - will class sizes go up?
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  • Catherine Cloutier 2/28/2013 5:42:48 PM
    We apologize for any technical difficulties. The chat is now live. Please submit your comments and questions.
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  • Claire Sokoloff 2/28/2013 5:45:21 PM
    The override will help all of the schools in Newton because there are student enrollment increases across elementary, middle and high school and the teachers we are hiring to match this enrollment growth will be deployed in all of the schools that have the greatest need. In addition, the top three worst elementary school buildings (Angier, Cabot and Zervas) will be renovated or replaced which will pave the way for all of the other schools that also are in dire need. Further, as these schools are improved, the maintenance and repair money currently being drained by the three worst schools will be freed up for improvements to the other buildings.
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  • Bill Heck 2/28/2013 5:56:50 PM
    How can an override be justified with a school overcrowding issue when Newton has 500+ students from outside Newton, which Newton taxpayers fund at more than $7M. This seems nuts when Newton pays $12M+ to send approx 160 students out of district, costing > $75K per student. Newton taxpayers pay both ways; it's very unfair to have an override. Let Boston have the override.
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  • SRH 2/28/2013 5:56:52 PM
    How do Newton teacher salaries compare to neighboring communities? Don't we need to stay consistent with the market?
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  • miloandtoby 2/28/2013 5:56:54 PM
    How do we know these school projects will be different from Newton North?
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  • Ulla Nost 2/28/2013 5:58:29 PM
    Absolute NO to any more Taxes. In 1992 my Tax bill was $637 a Quarter In 2002 it was $ 610 In 2012 $1,215. The mont we pay that we are overdrawn in the Checkbook. Its time we fire half of the Alderman, they were voted out twice and just vote themselves in again. there are many ways to save some of the money. You paid 197 Million for a High school there could have been built for $80,000. Hand out the Collection bowl to all the Yes Voters and give them a tiny tax break, Newton only help wen you are so poor you are welfare, but they are quickly driving us older people there.
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  • Geoff Epstein 2/28/2013 5:59:21 PM
    That is incorrect. We are addressing deteriorated schools in order with Angier, Cabot and Zervas as the priorities. As we complete them, then the next ones in the priority list will be addressed.
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  • Alex 2/28/2013 6:00:01 PM
    I saw that the override will cost $343 per home per year. Is that a flat fee?
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  • hmm 2/28/2013 6:03:46 PM
    So Marcia, where exactly is this $178M in savings being allocated?
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  • Greg 2/28/2013 6:03:51 PM
    No one is contesting the fact that Newton schools are overcrowded and in need of repair. For those that oppose the override, what plan do you propose to fix our schools?
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  • Geoff Epstein 2/28/2013 6:03:56 PM
    Freezing salaries is not a practical strategy.
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  • Geoff Epstein 2/28/2013 6:03:58 PM
    Bill Heck - The $7M figure is bogus, at least a factor of 10 overblown. It's certainly less than $1M. A review is in order but this is a red herring
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  • Bill Heck 2/28/2013 6:04:34 PM
    The proposed three worst school buildings are Angier, Cabot and Zervas? Why? Because of failed stewardship; slovenly management is patently wrong. Old buildings? Go to Rome or Paris or Madrid and see hundreds of 300+year-old building used successfully and brilliantly every day. Fix the building, don't replace them. This is done successfully everyday by people who are smart and who care about value.
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  • hmm. 2/28/2013 6:07:51 PM
    I'm very much on the fence on the issue despite the fact that I have a first grader who will be directly impacted by the outcome. I wonder if the dozens of new businesses opening on route 9 will help bring enough commercial tax revenue into the city to help our aging infrastructure?
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  • Suzanne Szescila 2/28/2013 6:07:58 PM
    I've been paying Newton taxes for more than 20 years. Why should my taxes go up to help schools when the school's spending rose 60% since 2002? My household income hasn't increased 60% since 2002.
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  • APM 2/28/2013 6:08:04 PM
    Explain why initiatives like naming rights can't fund ongoing enrollment expenses?
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  • Al Cecchinelli 2/28/2013 6:13:44 PM
    Why are we still paying to educate Boston school students when we can't pay our own bills? Why doesn't Boston componsate us for the full cost of educating their kids?
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  • APM 2/28/2013 6:13:53 PM
    Why can't CPA funds be diverted to fund the capital projects or road improvements?
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  • Display Name:Susan Heyman 2/28/2013 6:13:59 PM
    Newton is working with the state School Building Authority and is eligible to receive close to 1/3 of the cost to update Angier and Cabot. What happens to that money if the override fail?
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  • Andrew Tran, BostonGlobe.com 2/28/2013 6:16:27 PM
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  • Al Cecchinelli 2/28/2013 6:22:00 PM
    If the Mayor is saving $200 million over 5 years, why do we need an override?
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  • Mrd 2/28/2013 6:22:02 PM
    There are so many students crowded into crumbling buildings that can't stay hit or cold. How will this override help?
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  • miloandtoby 2/28/2013 6:22:05 PM
    What will happen if the three questions don't pass?
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  • Deb Crossley 2/28/2013 6:26:46 PM
    All of these questions seem to be about the schools. I'd like to comment in general about the condition of our city infrastructure. First, although we must always strive to do our work both well and efficiently, government IS different from private sector business - we serve the collective need. I think our citizens are generally unhappy with the poor condition of our roads, sidewalks, school and municipal buildings. Those who suggest we should reduce staff and/or salaries as a way to pay for infrastructure repair / replacement, are not thinking through how we depend upon skilled staff to make sure the work is done well and efficiently. Marcia reported that this administration has been building up the skills needed in Public Buildings. In fact we have now three new excellent project managers. If we pass all three questions, we'll need to add a little more. Although the city would hire a design team, we need skilled folks in house to represent our interests and hold all the players to task.
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  • Mrd 2/28/2013 6:26:49 PM
    What kinds of efficiencies has the city made that will reassure us that this override is really needed?
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  • Theresa 2/28/2013 6:27:08 PM
    How is this override different from overrides of the past? What has been learned?
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  • Alex 2/28/2013 6:28:32 PM
    Before I spend more money on taxes I'd like to know if the Mayor or school dept has done any cost-cutting in the last few years.
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  • Deirdre Fernandes 2/28/2013 6:29:51 PM
    Thanks for joining us. The questions and comments have been great. We won't be taking any more questions in a few moments.
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  • Alex 2/28/2013 6:30:02 PM
    What specifically will the override do for Newton's students? What programming will be affected if this does or does not pass?
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  • Andrew Tran, BostonGlobe.com 2/28/2013 6:30:30 PM
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  • Marcia Tabenken 2/28/2013 6:37:26 PM
    Great questions, everyone. Thanks for tuning in, and thank you to the Globe for having us. Vote YES YES YES on March 12!
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  • TrauteMarshall 2/28/2013 6:37:49 PM
    In closing, we thank the Globe for this opportunity and hope that you will feel better informed to make the decision to vote
    NO on all three overrides
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  • Catherine Cloutier 2/28/2013 6:41:11 PM
    Thank you everyone. To continue the discussion, visit our community forums at www.boston.com
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