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RICHMOND â At the town council meeting, School Committee Member Robert Cardozo reported that even though Richmondâs cost will increase 1.31 percent, the 2015 Chariho school budget will be $500,000 less than 2014. He also said that Charlestownâs portion will decrease 2.6 percent and Hopkintonâs will be 2.71 percent less than in 2014.
He said that the major reason for Richmondâs increase was twofold.
âOne is decrease in state aid to education â ours went down by approximately $140,000. And our population in the district went up â and that is the offsets as to why Richmond is up a little bit,â he said.
Cardozo said that state aid to education is the âgreat equalizerâ because the amount each town will contribute is very similar: Charlestown 32.8 percent, Richmond 34.2 percent, and Hopkinton 33 percent.
âWhen you start to look what state aid to education, Richmond got $5.2 million, Hopkinton got $5.6 million, and Charlestown got 1.7 million,â he said. âThatâs the equalizer â the state aid to education. Itâs something that people have to start to understand.â
Town Council Vice President Henry Oppenheimer disagreed.
âWhen you look at what people pay on an equalized valuation property basis, weâre still, and Hopkinton is still, paying significantly more than Charlestown,â he said. âThatâs the bottom line.â
Oppenheimer added, âAnd thatâs how taxpayers look at it â what theyâre paying for the same education. I donât think Iâm going to subscribe as a town councilor to that being an equalizer because it is not.â
Cardozo said that his perspective was from the three townsâ contributions to the district, not the individual taxpayerâs.
âAs three townsâ contributions to the district, it is somewhat equal,â he said. âIf youâre going to say on an individual basis, you have a case. But, not if you look at it from a town basis, you donât have a case.â
For more, pick up today's Chariho Times.