Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Ronald D. Valenti

Second Supervisor

Richard Maurer

Abstract

The current economic landscape in the United States invites, almost by default, a study on finances. As stated by Valenti, “Where do school leaders turn when growing taxpayer resistance and tightening economic conditions threaten to reduce local support and government aid?” (Harris, 2009, p.18) According to the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, Thomas R. Suozzi’s Final Report to Governor David A. Paterson, affirmed “New York has a problem” (Suozzi, 2008, p.12). According to Suozzi, [New York’s] 78th percentile [highest local tax rate] is “above the national average” (p.20). Further in the Report, Suozzi says, “From every perspective, New York State Property taxes have become the most burdensome in the nation” (p.25) and then pronounces, “We must find a way to alleviate this problem” (p.25). According to the Journal News, Westchester County is ranked first for the highest property taxes in the nation at an estimated median of $9,945, a 10 percent increase from the previous year (Retrieved 10/8/11). The researcher used a mixed methods investigation of shared and consolidation of services in school districts and municipalities in Westchester County in order to reduce the property tax burden. Ready access to survey participants was had as the researcher worked as an Intern at the Office of Westchester County Executive. The researcher compiled descriptive statistics as well as conducted interviews to support strategies that provide promise for reducing County wide property tax burden.

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