To the Editor:

I was shocked (and yet not really) to read that the Southern Tioga School District board of directors intends to raise taxes for Tioga County property owners by 2% in their 2020-21 budget. I find this action callous, heartless and totally inappropriate in this difficult time for so many who are losing their jobs and finding it hard to make ends meet as it is. It was just announced that Tioga County school districts are getting a huge grant from the feds for COVID-19 relief. STSD is getting more than $330,000. The district also have a lot of money in their fund balance. I don't believe they should be balancing their budget on the backs of already hard hit taxpayers, many of whom are elderly and live on a fixed income. There was hardly a school year this year, and who knows if they will even have one next year at this point. Parents are struggling trying to teach their kids what teachers normally teach them, while some are trying to work from home, or others lost their jobs because they had to stay home with the kids who are normally in school. Granted, teachers are doing their best to teach online, but it is not the same as face to face teaching and learning and not everyone in Tioga County has an Internet connection or even a computer. If they go ahead and pass this tax increase at the June meeting, I am thinking the only way to put the brakes on future tax increases is to vote for taxpayer friendly representatives who will fairly consider other means of raising revenue. If you want to let the board know how you feel, contact them and tell them. They work for the taxpayers, not the other way around, but it sure doesn't seem that way, does it?

Thank you,

Cheryl A. Clarke