July 19, 2011; Source: The Roanoke Times | In Blacksburg, Va., a City Councilwoman last week suggested that citizens donate toward the projected $125 million cost of building three new schools, thus offsetting the need for a tax increase, which would amount to a property tax increase of “10 cents or more.”
Some taxpayers have declared themselves willing to step forward to contribute a few hundred dollars more than they would be required to pay in taxes. According to this article, to achieve a reduction of one penny in the tax increase, $700,000 would have to be raised.
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Elizabeth Boris of the Urban Institute comments that the idea of funding a public school with charitable dollars is not unheard of, but that funding a public school’s capital costs to avoid raising taxes is a new twist.—Ruth McCambridge