Letter: Westport grand list affected mill rate
To the Editors:
Alex Ruskewich’s letter (March 15) entitled “Better management gets results” implied that the “major” reason Westport was able to reduce its mill rate by 2.01% was due to better management in the school system. Mr. Ruskewich failed to include one significant comparison from the Office of Policy Management (OPM). A significant factor in the calculation of mill rates is the total value of taxable property (the grand list). From 2004 to 2016, Westport’s taxable grand list increased by 84.4% while Wilton’s increased by 18.2%. I would submit that the “major” reason Westport’s mill rate increase is less than Wilton’s is due to the grand list increased value, not “Better Management” in the school system.
Additionally, Mr. Ruskewich did not share a report accessed from the OPM site that shows spending per student, which is a measure of the effective use of tax investments in education. That report shows that for 2016-2017 the spending per student for Wilton at $19,865, and Westport at $20,387 or 2.6% less.
G. William Brautigam
Wilton Hills, March 19