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 Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>