Consolidating school

Poloncarz also notes that Erie County taxpayers support school districts when they pay state income taxes and local and county property taxes.

One thing he suggested was amending state law to eliminate the requirement that votes on consolidation take place in each district.

In this era of declining school enrollment, increasing costs and tax increases limited by the tax cap imposed by New York State, consolidating school districts seems like a no-brainer. Poloncarz is not the only one to call for merging or consolidating school districts.

Poloncarz was the latest to take up the issue when he released a report on school district expenses and potential for consolidation.

The issue comes up every few years, and some districts have looked at it.

There have been four studies into consolidating school districts in Cheektowaga over the last 20 years, and each concluded a merger would not save enough money to undertake. Here's why: The county gives school districts a portion of the county sales tax.

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That alone was estimated to cost $9.75 million in the first year, and well over $90 million over 10 years, according to Cleveland Hill Superintendent Jon Mac Swan.

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