Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More elderly residents do not necessarily reduce school tax base

09.03.2005


A concentration of senior citizens in a community can be a financial boon to a school district, rather than an adversary, unless the group includes a high percentage of newcomers with few, if any, emotional ties with the area, according to two Penn State experts.



"The ’aging of America’ will not automatically exacerbate fiscal strains on public school systems and their community residents," says Dr. Michael B. Berkman, associate professor of political science. "A large influx of new arrivals can, however, have a negative impact on tax revenues, especially if tax policies such as property tax rebates are in place which, albeit well-meaning, can reduce annual per-pupil spending by hundreds of dollars." "When a state provides rebates to all elderly homeowners (including those who would have backed raises in school taxes), officials must either cut spending for schools or increase another tax," says Dr. Eric Plutzer, associate professor of political science and sociology. Berkman and Plutzer are co-authors of the paper, "Gray Peril or Loyal Support? The Effects of the Elderly on Educational Expenditures," published in a recent issue of Social Science Quarterly. Their study examined the impact of senior citizens on local spending for public school education.

The researchers used a data set of more than 9,000 school districts in 40 states, with persons age 60 years and older comprising 18.9 percent of the average school district in 1990. Ninety-one percent of those senior citizens had lived in the same county for more than five years.


As expected, longtime older residents find higher taxes for public school education more acceptable than newcomers, who favor lower spending. The differences in spending levels depend not only on the degree of their personal commitment to the host community but also in the way in which states and municipalities finance local public education. "In some localities, the arrival of new retirees is not only welcome but desired and encouraged," Plutzer says. "Retirees have disposable income -- a plus for economic development -- and appear to impose few costs on the community. They tend to be property-owners, they do not increase the number of school children, they commit few crimes, and they incur social services, such as medical care, often funded by state or federal government rather than by local agencies."

However, even with a loyal senior citizen population willing to foot higher bills for the school district, the overall level of educational spending can be depressed by policy changes such as property tax rebates (called "circuit breakers") or by replacing property taxes with other revenue sources such as sales or income taxes, the researchers say. "By the year 2030, people over age 65 will outnumber those under 20, reversing the nationÕs demographic profile," Berkman says. "As baby boomers’ age and life expectancy increases, political decisions, including those related to education, will be more and more influenced by the needs and preferences of older Americans."

Plutzer adds, "Nevertheless, our results show that the aging of America does not in any sense pose a threat to school funding, a budget category that overall is currently larger than that of the Defense Department. Our data indicates that the great majority of senior citizen residents will support educational funding if they feel an emotional attachment to the community."

Paul Blaum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>