Tuesday, December 22, 2015

10 Cents On The Dollar

Let's not talk about the mega-millions UMass has squandered on football

So no I'm not surprised the new l-o-n-g overdue (3 years) UMass/town Strategic Partnership Agreement is a lousy deal for the town, which is probably why John Musante did not jump at the chance to sign it when it first landed on his desk well before his tragic untimely death.

The $257,000 payment for hotel/motel tax is simply money that was owed us, collected, and put in escrow.

Since Senate President Stan Rosenberg clearly stated he wanted the Campus Center Hotel to pay the 6% local option tax when he filed special legislation a few years back, safe bet UMass was told in no uncertain terms to pay the hell up and keep paying it from now on.

Sort of like a homeowner withholding a year's worth of mortgage payments and then suddenly making it current before the bank forecloses.

The status quo payment for public safety are also grossly inadequate:  AFD spends 20% of their time dealing with on-campus calls while APD spends 20% of its time dealing with off-campus students, so with a $10 million public safety budget that comes to over $2 million for both departments.

In return UMass is paying us less than $500,000 for AFD services only.

 Click to enlarge/read

But the biggest booger is the payment for education of 56 students living in UMass tax exempt housing attending our expensive public schools.  Superintendent Maria Geryk told Amherst Town Meeting last spring  that alone amounts to $1,267,000.

Thus an annual payment of $120,000 amounts to less than ten cents on the dollar.  At a time when the Regional School budget is $600,000 in the hole.

You would think a bastion of public higher education would put more value on, you know, public education.


Town owned $200,000 Mark's Meadow portable classroom were demolished by UMass

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are counting UMass students that live off campus hen you should actually be subtracting them. They rent houses that have owners that pay property taxes. The students don't have kids in our schools, and when they take an ambulance (if ever), they get a big fat $1,000 bill that they have to pay.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes but some of them rent crappy houses for way too much rent (giving them an incentive to pack in more than four unrelated housemates per one family unit) that are assessed lower than they should because they are crappy houses.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the whole housing market is priced higher because of the strong student demand. I have a good source for that. You.

Larry Kelley said...

But a two family house that has two hard pressed families living in it is assessed at the same value as a two family house with 8 unrelated tenants (or sometimes 9,10 or a dozen) paying $4,000 per month in rent.

The assessor can only take rent revenues into account with structures of 4 units or more.

Anonymous said...

They are not assessed lower than they should be. They require fewer town services. They don't use our parks, town libraries, or senior center.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, only our police and fire departments (which cost a tad more than our parks, libraries or senior center).

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Larry, for continuing to cover this.

Rich Morse

Timothy Atteridge said...

The town spends no money on the Senior Center. UMASS and Amherst College students do use the Jones library.

Anonymous said...

Larry's Math on UMASS

UMASS revenue benefit for Amherst = Billions
UMASS cost to Amherst = Millions

Net Benefit to Amherst = Billions - Millions = I just want more

Real Math on UMASS

Amherst - UMASS = never ending debt to feed the needs of the poor
Amherst + UMASS = lots of money coming from all over and a bunch of rich folks fighting over who gets the next 1/2 million in their group.

Come on. The "I want, I want, I want" gets old. "I earned" never does.

Larry Kelley said...

Cowardly Anon Nitwits defending the way-it's-always-been routine gets pretty old as well.

Anonymous said...

The Town of Amherst and its people don't appreciate UMass and push the students and school around all year long...and then act surprised when town/gown relations don't go so hot.

SHOCKING!

Try treating UMass like the spectacular asset is is to Amherst and hey-maybe things will go well.

Larry Kelley said...

'Tis better to lead in Hell than to serve in Heaven.

Anonymous said...

You first. I'll stay in heaven.

Larry Kelley said...

Cowards die a 1,000 deaths the hero but one.

Yeah, yeah I know. You will remain a coward.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

When did you photograph that building at Marks Meadow - are you sure it's still there?

- Your Friend in N. Amherst

Dr. Ed said...

I was hoping you'd cover how much the football team had lost

Anonymous said...

Please come and pick up your mold-filled portable classroom. At your expense.

Anonymous said...

Football at UMass is costing some money now, yes. But the program does have potential to succeed, and when it does it will make money for the school, like any successful NCAA program.

Plus the goodwill and spirit which are extremely valuable things you can't put a price tag on.

Larry Kelley said...

So are you a paid PR flack or just a clueless fanboy?

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, how many K-12 students reside in tax-free Amherst Housing Authority properties?

How is that different?

Larry Kelley said...

Not a lot. Most come from apartment complexes off E Hadley Road, and they do pay taxes.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

I respectfully disagree. Personally, I 'd rather serve in heaven. Or on Earth. Merry Christmas one and all

Jackie M'Vemba said...

Larry, please... Enough with the name- calling. Gets old. e all see that you think Anons are cowardly and nitwits. You've stated it about a million times. I' m beggin' you.

Anonymous said...

No, Larry. I am neither a PR hack or a clueless fanboy.

That's the nature of NCAA athletics. Strong programs take time to build. Once they are built, they are wonderful assets to the school they call home. The amount of money they take in is astronomical, and what it gives to the campus and surrounding area cannot be beat.

A school of the nature and size of UMass deserves the kind of program they are building.

Larry Kelley said...

Spoken like a true PR flack (or fanboy).

Dr. Ed said...

No NCAA program really makes money when you (a) account for the cost-shifting and (b)realize that the recruitment effect is likely a placebo effect -- Harvard doesn't have recruitment problems...

Students having fun recruits students -- ability to go to a sports game or to whatever where lots of other young people are having fun. Now that fun has been banned at UMass, you could have all the winning teams you want - to no avail.

Once you get past the children of those who graduated prior to 1990, when UM was still fun & affordable, you're gonna have fun finding warm bodies....

Anonymous said...

Ed, you live in a depressing shadow world of your own making.

The Evil Dr. Ed said...

I'm only depressed four days a year -- when I have to write the checks to the IRS and the rest...

Which, of course, has nothing to do with my point -- you are not going to have enough warm bodies soon...

UMass Delenda Est -- and Fire Truck the mASSgop....

Anonymous said...

All I know is there are thousands of happy students that I see on campus everyday.

Dr. Ed said...

Not unlike the hundreds of thousands of happy North Koreans who so adore their leader.

And pretty much for the same reason.

UM grads are so happy that they all join the alumni association -- oh, wait, so few did in recent years that they had to define everyone to be a member....

Dr.Ed said...

And Larry -- APD spends 20% of its time dealing with UM students living off-campus -- where they are 50% of the population?

That means that the APD spends 80% of its time dealing with the other 50% of the population, those who aren't students -- which raises some issues, doesn't it?

Larry Kelley said...

APD assists AFD with medical calls. College aged youth are a healthy lot (when not ETOH).

And while the population of Amherst is 59% college aged youth (including Amherst and Hampshire Colleges) that does not mean UMass off-campus students are 50% of the overall population.