Southampton - (WALK) A proposal to merge two East End school districts was soundly defeated Tuesday, as Southampton voters rejected a plan to merge with the Tuckahoe school district.
The proposed merger would have raised taxes in Southampton and lowered taxes in Tuckahoe, but would have saved approximately $8 million for the new, combined district, according to supporters. If approved by both districts, the plan would have gone before voters in a final referendum in December.
The idea proved popular in Tuckahoe, where voters approved the plan 565 to 35, but it sank in Southampton, where it went down 1,075 to 693.
Critics of the plan in Southampton say taxes would have increased by 8.67 percent in the first year of a merger, while taxes in Tuckahoe would have tumbled by about 65 percent.
The school tax rate in Tuckahoe is approximately 3 times higher than in wealthier Southampton. Tuckahoe reportedly pays about $3 million per year to send high school students to Southampton.