The Trailblazer

Woodcliff Lake Plans to Withdraw from PVRHSD

By Jenna Golub

Jenna Golub

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Woodcliff Lake has finally received permission from the state appellate court to conduct a vote regarding its withdrawal from the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. As early as March and as late as September of 2018, voters from all four towns can decide whether the borough should stay in the district or leave.

For many years, Woodcliff Lake has tried to withdraw from the school district in an attempt to lower the town’s taxes, which are significantly higher than the taxes of the other towns in the district. However, this is currently the farthest the town has come with this issue. The plan for Woodcliff Lake would be to withdraw from the district and “enter into a send/receive arrangement with it, which would allow the borough to pay by the number of students registered rather than pay taxes based on equalized property values,” according to NorthJersey.com.

Freshman Alexa Snedeker, who lives in Woodcliff Lake, shared her thoughts on the topic. “I know the taxes in Woodcliff Lake are really high, so I’m glad that they might be lowered,” Snedeker commented. “I’m also glad this decision wouldn’t interfere with kids from Woodcliff Lake going to Hills.”

For Woodcliff Lake residents, this decision could be very beneficial; it could save the town an estimated $3 million to $6 million. However, Montvale, Rivervale, and Hillsdale – the other towns in the district – aren’t so lucky: they could end up having their taxes increased as a result of the decision.

Still, nothing is set in stone as of now. History teacher Jane Yeam commented on this issue. “I have been working here since 2007, and every year the topic of Woodcliff Lake leaving the district has come up,” Yeam stated. “But, I haven’t yet seen anything permanently happen as a result of this topic of discussion.”

Though this is the farthest Woodcliff Lake has come from removing themselves from the district, the decision is ultimately up to the voters of the four towns. And, with the knowledge that this withdrawal will increase taxes for the other towns, it is unlikely that many Montvale, Hillsdale, and Rivervale voters will agree to let Woodcliff Lake leave the district. However, this election is still fairly far away, so the results can’t yet be determined.

Freshman Mackenzie Blowers, a Montvale resident, offered her opinion on the growing concern. “I think that this has been made a bigger problem than it actually is. Woodcliff Lake has tried leaving the district multiple times already,” Blowers remarked. “There’s no way to know for certain what the outcome of the vote will be. But until it actually happens, it doesn’t affect us that much.”

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