County 'Charge-Back' for College Tuition Makes No Sense

If our goal is government financial accountability it makes no sense to have one local government footing the bill (Orangetown), while another (the County) oversees the program.

The Rockland County Legislature recently voted overwhelmingly in support of the County Executive’s decision to .

This move will cost Orangetown about $238,000 in 2012, a completely unanticipated expense.

Apparently, it is legal for the County to “charge-back” Orangetown for the cost difference in tuition when Orangetown residents attend more expensive SUNY community colleges outside Rockland County. But if our goal is government financial accountability, it makes no sense to have one local government footing the bill (Orangetown), while another (the County) oversees the program. Since it is not paying the bill, the County has little incentive to run the program more cost effectively. For its part, the Town pays the bills, but cannot exercise any direct management control, nor does it have any particular interest or expertise in the financing of college education.

So this kind of “charge-back,” or “cost-shifting” maneuver is a recipe for more bad budget management by the County, while accomplishing nothing more than transferring a cost from one tax bill onto another. Some might say, “What difference does it make, since ultimately the money comes from the same taxpayers?” But taxpayers have the right to hold government accountable for spending, and this is harder to do when one government is paying for a program run by another government.

County government is in the middle of a great reconciliation of budget to reality. Cost-shifting of college tuition, elections and other programs to the Towns, without doing anything to improve the programs in question, is a step in the wrong direction.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Watchdog June 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Is BASHING the only word you know? Anytime someone raises an issue you do not agree with, they seem to be " bashing" in your mind. FYI I have been promoting secession from the County in several forums for a few years and it perhaps from citizens like me that these politicians get their ideas to begin with. So please come up with some original ideas of your own and stop your own form of " bashing" of long tome taxpayers whose taxes built this Town and School system.
stephany June 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM
CL is an attack dog. his sole purpose in life it s to attack other members. Look at his profile and click a few posts to see what I mean. I have reported him numerous times for TO use violations to no avail Robin Traum has done nothing. I will be contacting patch.org regarding her lack of enforcement. I encourage others to do so if your valid complaints are not remedied for instance: terms of use say this Without limitation, you agree that you will not post or transmit to other users anything that contains Content that: 1]is ABUSIVE or offensive; 2]is HARASSING against any group or INDIVIDUAL 3]is INACCURATE, False or MISLEADING in any way;l [all of those] while he can say what he wants in response to an article, my problem is with his direct attacking with direct replies of other members. a little banter once in a while is Ok but he is fixated on it. and basically limited to it. there is no need for it I am not saying CL is but . It is very typical of law enforcement to act this way. Look around the web at forums where law enforcement post to see what i am talking about. you must have the utmost respect for every cop or you are dirt and you will be attacked behind the appropriate screen name--which is another toUse violation Registration You may not use any aliases or other means to mask your true identity. what is one more I guess
Watchdog June 08, 2012 at 03:01 PM
OTOH if you defend yourself against CL or INTHEKNOW or his other alias....he has THREE.. Traum and Demarest will delete our post. The PATCH editors are very sensitive to protecting their political philosophy and infringe on the right to free speech, especially Robin Traum.
stephany June 08, 2012 at 05:47 PM
yes billy dee. is another one. That is why i will bypass the local patch and go straight to patch.org
Mike June 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Make sure your comments pass the patch censorship test.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »