TaxNightmare.org End the property tax nightmare!

May 31, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 3:39 pm

  NOTES FROM THE FRONT:

 

THERE’S A WHOLE LOTTA BAD COMING DOWN THE PIKE IF WE DON’T GET THE OMNIBUS CIRCUIT BREAKER ASAP!

  

 

We need to win this struggle before it ALL hits the fan..big woosh. 

 

FOR ONE EXAMPLE YOU HAVE BEEN READING ABOUT THE PENSION SHORTFALL …IT’S DUE SOON AND THE HUGE LOSSES WILL BE MADE UP BY YOUR PROPERTY TAXES EVEN THOUGH –ULTIMATELY-The pension shortfall is the state’s responsibility.

 

In NYC this will not be the TERRIBLE problem it is in the state…the pension fund is manageable  and is part  of the fiscal responsibility  of the entire city.. I don’t say there will be no impact to NYC in this terrible recession but it certainly won’t rest on the shoulders of the homeowners and renters alone..

 

In addition to investment groups mining the state pension, is the continuing problem of the state not planning in advance for ANYTHING..and the fact that they have offloaded this pension responsibility on to property taxes…

 

If we wait for all the MANY, MANY competing ideas on who, what, where, how much $$$$ on pensions —or wait for caps, consolidation, and election results TO COME TO PASS.. we’ll ALL be living in tents in the Louisiana bayou……and that’s if we’re lucky..

 

Keep your focus on  the Omnibus circuit breaker legislation immediately and prop. tax reform shortly thereafter…

 

Do not listen to people who want to deflect your attention to some other mission…like punishing your kindergarten teacher for failing you in recess …or reducing  law enforcement  pensions because of those three DUI’s you really didn’t deserve… YEAH, RIGHT! (I know who you are!)

Snake oil and pie in the sky won’t save you……it’s the Circuit Breaker fellas….the circuit Breaker!

 

……at present there is absolutely no mechanism in place to prevent your prop. tax ransom of your homes every year  from reaching 100% of your income…no guarantee  at all that it won’t happen!!…

 

….you think not?? you trust Albany won’t let that happen?? Talk to the people in Roberta’s  column -AKA by George- on http://www.taxnightmare.org/ who are already paying 30%, 40%, 50% of their income…and these are folks who make decent middle class incomes…just like you…be afraid..and be smart..it’s the circuit breaker.

 

XXXXXXXgioia

 



 

May 30, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 4:09 pm

 

Thanks to the media for keeping the heat on Albany!!

Special thanks to host and reformer Mike Mazzerelli –WGNY- who invited Susan Zimet to talk about the devastating effects of prop. taxes on renters and homeowners throughout the state.

Susan (Zee) asked Frank Mauro-the guru of good government..the father of fiscal equity…the paterfamilias (look it up) of prop. tax reform (I obviously like the guy.) to join the show to speak about the circuit breaker legislation and its  fate  this session (right on the edge)….and she invited Taxnightmare.org to speak for the seriously indignant  taxpayer.

All of us, Zee, Frank and I are working together in the Omnibus Prop. Tax Solution Consortium. We are determined to build a firewall between your home and financial solvency and Albany’s sticky prop. tax fingers….

Of course the property  tax is Albany’s tax. They use it to dump the funding of their  responsibilities onto the shoulders of  localities and homeowners.

Mike kept asking:

    But you have a prop. tax bill written by the expert on the topic, Frank Mauro!!

    You have a powerful Consortium of all kinds of different organizations supporting the bill!!

   There is a clear and present danger to workers, professionals, retired folks, young families … To EVERYONE but the super-rich because of prop. taxes!!

 SO WHY aren’t THEY (Albany) passing this very modest circuit breaker to save the day for all NYS.residents ???….upstate, downstate, all around the state.

If I knew the rationale behind their callous lack of concern or sense of immediacy while folks –already in dire straits because of the recession- have the added burden of supporting Albany’s craziness, I’d tell you, Mike.  

Mazzerelli ( a lawyer)is a real advocate for justice and his new syndicated TV show will be about justice-for all. It will be called Street Court and we hope he brings his passion on the topic of insane property taxation to TV as he has done to radio.

This isn’t a commercial kids!

We are beyond the reach of any influence but yours and our supporters and property tax reform advocates. That’s the neighborhood we hang out in and that’s the neighborhood we want to protect.

I just want to praise those who stand with us for equity in property taxes and who flail the incompetents in Albany.

Those two things are bound together. Albany’s incompetence –and that means Dems and Reps alike- has caused the terrible state of middle income homeowners and renters that we are currently experiencing….and  Mike can do a lot for the cause of property tax reform. He already has by having us on his show.

Hopefully our mention on Mike’s show of the Senate stepping up to the plate on circuit breaker legislation will induce the Assembly to make good on its promise to do more than just put a bandaid on the problem.

I was there when the “leaders” Senate, Assembly, and Governor said they recognized the Prop. tax crisis and vowed an immediate fix this session…and I saw that their fingers weren’t crossed behind their backs…I look for that stuff.

We-the Omnibus Consortium- mean to remind them of that fact….and I bet we can count on Mike Mazzarelli  to do the same.

 

 

           WHEN YOU WAKE UP…………

               WILL THESE NIGHTMARES BE GONE ? ? ?

                                                                                                       BY GEORGE

    FROM ULSTER COUNTY:

WORKING COUPLE WEAR COATS AND MITTENS TO KEEP WARM ALL WINTER, (HEY, WE’RE TALKING INSIDE THEIR HOME…..)   THEY HAVE HAD TO BORROW FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS TO PAY THEIR TAXES,  NOW ASSESSMENT  HAS GONE UP ANOTHER 23%.   THEY HAVE ABOUT USED UP THEIR LINE OF CREDIT, THERE WILL SOON BE NO WHERE LEFT TO BORROW.   TRIED TO SELL THEIR HOME FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS,  BUT, THERE ARE NO BUYERS OUT THERE !    PEOPLE NEED HELP,  NOW !

PLEASE HELP THIS COUPLE,   PASS THE CIRCUIT BREAKER BILL THIS SESSION,    NEXT WINTER MAY BE COLDER……………

 

     FROM A RETIRED UNION WORKER   (CSEA/AFSCME 834)

THIS COUPLE HAS EXPERIENCED A RELENTLESS 43% PROPERTY TAX INCREASE IN THE PAST 4 YEARS, AND, A 46% INCREASE IN SCHOOL TAXES OVER THE SAME TIME PERIOD.  THEY RECEIVED A REBATE CHECK FOR  $157.63.    WOW !    THEY STATE THAT THE STATE’S TAX FORMULA IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED ,  AS IT HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO A HOMEOWNERS ABILITY TO PAY AND NEEDS TO BE  IMMEDIATELY, TOTALLY REHABILITATED !  

 

     FROM SCRIBA:

COUPLE PURCHASED PROPERTY ON LAKE ONTARIO IN 2005; TAXES WERE $ 700.  AT THAT TIME,  THE FIRST YEAR THEY WENT TO $760.    OF COURSE A REASSEMENT HAD TO TAKE PLACE…………..AND THEIR TAXES ROSE  440%,  THAT’S RIGHT,  440% .  THEY  TRIED, WITH LITTLE SUCCESS TO GRIEVE THE INJUSTICE OF THEIR ASSESSMENT AND DID GET IT LOWERED TO 292%.

THEY ARE LOOKING TO SELL, AS THEY SEE THAT THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PAY THE TAXES IF THEY SHOULD BUILD A HOME THERE.

 

     FROM SKANEATELES:

NEW YORKER COMES “HOME” 10 YEARS AGO TO RETIRE……….GOOD PLAN……….

EVEN THOUGH HE WAS ADVISED BY HIS LAYWER TO GO SOMEWHERE WHERE THE TAX SYSTEM WOULDN’T JUST GRAB ALL HIS MONEY………..(THERE ARE PLENTY OF THOSE STATES OUT THERE, AND MOST OF THEM HAVE A MORE DESIREABLE CLIMATE)   SOME PEOPLE JUST DON’T LISTEN,  SO , HE CAME TO NEW YORK, BOUGHT A HOME,  HIS TAXES WERE $ 7,500.   THEY HAVE RISEN TO $32,000. 

NOW,  HE’S A FAIR AND REASONABLE MAN, BUT;

  HE HAS NO CHILDREN GOING TO SCHOOL IN NY.

  HE GETS  NO WATER OR SEWAGE .

  HE GETS  NO GARBAGE SERVICE.

  HE STATES THAT HE GETS  ABSOLUTLY NOTHING FOR HIS $ 32,000 DONATION THAT HE MAKES EACH YEAR ,  OF COURSE HIS PROPERTY VALUE HAS DROPPED 25%,    (BUT THERE IS NO CORRECTION IN HIS TAXES)

HE SAYS THAT HE WANTED TO BE A NEW YORKER BUT NEW YORK’S POLICIES ARE UNFAIR AND ARE DRIVING BUSINESSES AND CITIZENS OUT OF THE STATE !

THE MAN IS RIGHT……………………

 

                                 WAKE UP ALBANY ! ! ! !

 

 

 

    

 

May 29, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 10:26 am

 

 

RETURNED FROM ALBANY (  late yesterday) -NOT EXACTLY waving OUR SHIELDS AND NOT EXACTLY ON THEM……little classical  allusion here …YOU KNOW, THE WARRIOR WAS SUPPOSED TO COME BACK WITHOUT HAVING SURRENDERED HIS SHIELD… OR DEAD…oh forget it! 

Our Omnibus Band continues to batter at the gates of the Albany castle with mixed success…John & Roberta (AKA by George)Whiteley, Bill and Ellie Trumpbour, Ron Deutsch, Susan Zimet. Robert McKeon, Frank Mauro (author of the Omnibus Relief and Reform solution) and I……all of us representing the heavy hitter Omnibus Consortium– made yet another trek to see if anyone was home in the Albany bubble.

I can report that the Senate has made progress and will soon come out with a compromise Circuit Breaker on property taxes….I remind you a CB is a cut -off on how much you can pay in prop. taxes over a certain percent of your income.

We will look for certain provisions that are MUST HAVES.

We congratulate Senators Klein and Krueger and their staffs at working on this priority item openly and steadily…and at conducting professional  and cordial meetings with us.

We will continue advocating for the Omnibus Circuit Breaker version which is still the best, most responsible IMMEDIATE solution to the devastating out-of-control property tax crisis afflicting homeowners and renters alike.

Having said that about the Senate the use of red ink should tell you how I feel about the state of the State Assembly.

How seriously are they are working on this MAJOR crisis?

….neither seriously, openly nor steadily.

 …...how about cordially?

It is not my style to feel insulted by politicians’ lack of manners  or take their disregard for the people they serve personally. ….mostly because I’d be feeling insulted and outraged all the time.

BUT I’M NOT HAPPY when we are treated with disdain by staff who are neither informed nor responsive….and you should be unhappy about that too.

That state of affairs is too often the case when dealing with Assembly “leadership”.

Your servants in the Assembly need to be reminded that they –even surrounded by marble and isolated in their luxurious offices- are not completely beyond the reach of voters..as “SAFE” as their safe seats may seem.

In conclusion…the Senate is working and will have something substantive  to offer us. The Assembly gives the appearance it is not working and has offered nothing so far but obstruction and excuses .

The entire Consortium is united in saying: leaders must go into conference and bring forth a Tax Relief and Reform Bill in line with the consortium solution…..

Towards that end, please annoy the hell out of your Assembly people and their leader Sheldon Silver by calling them (they seem to be annoyed when taxpayers have the temerity to call them)….often and strongly… to come up with a Bill that approximates the Omnibus Solution Circuit Breaker with a reform component….now..not next month… not next year NOW!

There is always money for their own comfort…opulence abounds….Albany  has been making poor choices for years with our money…they have never chosen to deal with the REAL problems of government,  like preventing an absurd and illegitimate tax from bankrupting people to the extent their homes are lost to government incompetence, and neglect…it’s not only -or even mostly-because of the recession that they have no money for services.

It is plainly because of Albany’s irresponsible, greedy  behavior over many years.

Speaker Silver’s number to call is 1-518-455-3791.

…and call your own legislator.

Thanks….. from Gioia S. -who has her shield but is sharpening her sword as we speak.

 

BULLETIN FROM THE historic TRUMPBOUR FARM:
 
The NYS Farm Bureau -representing farms large and small throughout the state and 30,000 or more farm families -voted to support the Circuit Breaker concept and to back the C.B. Bill that meets their farm family property tax concerns….needless to say that’s what Omnibus wants also. Good work Bill and Ellie (Omnibus members representing farm families).
I hope the legislators show us they care about the health of our  family farms.

May 27, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 9:57 pm

 

EVERY DAY BRINGS US CLOSER…

 to property tax relief….

to prop. tax reform

..AND IT SEEMS LIKE WE GO TO Albany EVERY other  DAY….

We (Omnibus Consortium) will be going there AGAIN tomorrow to meet with Assembly prop. tax policy experts.

This is getting old….and everything seems to require getting up at 6A.M.

So we’d  better be getting closer to a successful conclusion to this long struggle for property  tax equity or I’m going to go ballistic from sleep deprivation… this time…..I forgot what it was last time but I’m sure I was justified.

 

On June 2nd we will have a breakfast briefing and will lobby key legislators .

Please join us. This is a final strong push to say “we’re here…you know it…now finish the job.”

So it’s critical that you join us in Albany if you can!!

Email me at shebar4@AOL.com  or at info@taxnightmare.org

 

The breakfast meeting is an Omnibus Consortium event.

You can meet us after 10A.M. if you can’t make the breakfast briefing and join us as we speak with legislators….we need you. Don’t be shy. These are your public servants and I and other Taxnightmare.org Coordinating Comm. Members will be with you…..and the Omnibus leader, Ron Deutsch , will give us a short catch up briefing…

This could be the event that makes the difference…we are close.

The formal invite is below:

I’ll reserve for you  if you email me .

The Fiscal Policy Institute and the League of Women Voters of New York State invite you to an Informational Briefing on

Property Tax Circuit Breakers: What are they? How do they work? Is it a Good Choice for New York?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 8:15 am to 10:00 am (with a breakfast buffet available beginning at 7:45 am) at the Sign of the Tree Restaurant, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York

Space is limited so pre-registration is required. Please register as soon as possible by responding to this e-mail message with the name and contact information for each representative of your organization who will be attending.

Guest Speaker: Daphne A. Kenyon, co-author of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s new report, Property Tax Circuit Breakers: Fair and Cost-Effective Relief for Taxpayers, which makes recommendations for designing an effective circuit breaker that avoids many of the mistakes of existing programs. www.lincolninst.edu

Prior to founding her own consulting firm, Kenyon served as president of The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy; professor and chair in the Economics Department at Simmons College; senior economist with the Office of Tax Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Urban Institute, and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; and Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

In response to Dr. Kenyon’s presentation, New York State perspectives will be offered by:

Frank Mauro, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute

Susan Zimet, Ulster County Legislator; Chair of the Ulster County the Ulster County Blue Ribbon Commission on SchoolFunding and Tax Reform; and founder of The Tax Reform Agenda

Ron Deutsch, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness; and, Coordinator, The Omnibus Consortium for Property Tax Relief and Reform

John Whiteley, Legislative Coordinator, New York State Property Tax Reform Coalition

For more information on the Fiscal Policy Institute and its work, call 518-786-3156 or visit www.fiscalpolicy.org. For more information on the League of Women Voters of New York State and its work, call 518-465-4162 or visit www.lwvny.org.

 

 

 

….

 

 

May 26, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 10:38 pm

Tax caps don’t cap your taxes….the circuit breaker does!!

Unfortunately all this prop. tax language has people confused.

A tax ‘cap’ doesn’t cap an individual’s own property tax bill. It may put a ‘cap’ on some kinds of tax levies….but not your tax bills.

ONLY the circuit breaker  deals with an individual’s property taxes. S4239 the Bill we support says that when your own property taxes -all your prop. taxes combined – reach a certain percent of your income the circuit breaker stops the taxes at that point  and the state picks up 70% of any amount over that.

 When you see the word “CAP” it doesn’t apply to your tax bill.

Do the people trying to sell tax caps deliberately want to confuse people into thinking a cap will bring them immediate relief from extortionate taxes? Call me cynical but they sure don’t try to clear up the confusion….

 Remember Circuit Breaker means Prop. Tax RELIEF now and in the future…”Cap” means pretty much anything BUT…

Below is an explanation by John Whiteley (member of the  Omnibus Prop. Tax Reform and Relief Consortium) John is a circuit breaker expert.

 Gioia –

        You have to wonder just what the respondents think the two terms mean, as that is critical.   For example, unless it is carefully explained to them, a lot of people assume that the “tax cap”  puts a limit on the amount their tax bill can increase, (or they may even think it freezes their tax bill),  when in fact it only limits the increase in the total tax levy.  And if there is more than one taxing jurisdiction within the school district (portions of several towns in the same school district, for example),  none of them is likely to have the same percentage limit as the overall district.

          John 

May 24, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 7:09 pm

 TEACHERS -and other school employees- AROUND THE STATE-MINDFUL OF THE RECESSION’S EFFECTS ON HOMEOWNERS HAVE VOLUNTARILY TAKEN CUTS AND MADE DONATIONS TO KEEP THE BUDGETS DOWN….READ THE NYTIMES ARTICLE TO FIND OUT WHERE..

Are you listening Albany?  Not only are you not (with the exception of Gov. Paterson) offering to sacrifice any of your salaries, perks, or pork, but you are dragging your feet on prop. tax relief for homeowners and renters who are rapidly going under in this recession. Telling the world you feel our pain does not qualify as a plan.

I received the NYTimes article from Carol in Marlboro-a town devastated by huge property tax increases due to a lowering of an assessment for Dynegy, which had shouldered a large part of the prop. tax burden.

Carol and her fellow taxpayers are working to bring about tax equity and relief and reform.

All the real tax reform work is being done by citizen’s reform groups and good government groups and unions…

SO why do we hire these “public servants” anyway if we have to do all the work?

They cost us upwards of a quarter of a billion dollars a year…..

This is the Make or Break year on tax relief…

…….AND BECAUSE THIS IS THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND when we honor our war dead who gave their all for us….

Let’s also honor those who survived the pain and fear and hardship of war.

Some-too many- have terrible disabilities.

In whatever circuit breaker legislation Albany finally passes we cannot penalize the families of these service people.  Mothers and fathers are caring for wounded soldiers in their family homes because they can’t live on their own.

We cannot countenance our wounded having their small disability payments counted as ‘household income’ which would penalize their families who might then lose benefits they would otherwise get from the circuit breaker.

Let’s remember what counts. Legislators who are handing out tax exempts to whole communities that purport to be doing god’s work… or exempt acres of unused land owned by scouts from other states –just to give two annoying examples-can start to pay attention to who picks up the bill for their largesse…and it better not be our families and it better not be our wounded soldiers…..and don’t tell me you don’t have the money Albany…just DON’T!

May 21, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 10:25 pm

 

 

…and so the beat goes on…you have read my description of the “leaders” meeting in Albany on Tuesday…if not, it’s below this report.

 

To see how these “servants of the people” can drive normally pretty sane and placid folks to contemplate mayhem, please click on the link below.

 

You will see the Trumpbours, Bill and Ellie,- who are Taxnightmare Coordinating Committee members and Omnibus Property Tax Relief and Reform Consortium stalwarts- react to the meeting.

 

The Trumpbours own a farm that has been in the family  since 1732. They are protecting and preserving an historic legacy for future generations…..but this may be their last year of trying to keep the farm. They are paying almost half their very modest income in prop. taxes to ransom their farm from the callous Albany bubble dwellers.

 

…..and ,oh yes…the understated woman  speaking in a carefully modulated and lady-like manner? Guess who?

 

http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S937618.shtml?cat=300

 

 

BACK TO BUSINESS……………………..

 

Sen. Krueger ( if only they were ALL like Liz) and Sen. Klein are sticking to the people’s business and so we leave them to it…hammering out  one  circuit breaker  relief and reform bill  out of their two bills. …something they AND WE can live with.

 

Meanwhile back at Sheldon Silver’s ranch, the Assembly SHOULD BE working on their version of a circuit breaker. …hopefully making it more like the Omnibus Bill.

Our Consortium-speaking for devastated and disgruntled property taxpayers statewide- wants to give its seal of approval to these bills…..but only if they deliver the goods.

 

I know you are waiting with bated breath to see what you can (must) do now to move the legislative process in the right direction.

 

Here’s some guidelines from the Consortium:

Calls/Faxes/E-mails to Speaker Silver (feel free to tweak depending on your mood:)

Message: 

Property tax payers across NYS strongly support the Circuit Breaker approach to alleviating the property tax burden. We believe that to be effective, and to be accepted by the Property Tax Reform movement, the Assembly Circuit Breaker needs to:

 

·         provide enough property tax relief to keep people in their homes (i.e., at least 70% of the amount by which a household’s property taxes exceed the a reasonable percentage of the household’s income);

 

  • cover all local property taxes (not just school taxes);
  • include renters who also pay property taxes but through their rent ; and
  • not have different rates for downstate and upstate.  People with the same income and the same property tax bill should get the same amount of relief whether they live in Long Island or in an upstate community.

A very effectively targeted circuit breaker bill (S4239), that meets these tests, has been introduced by Senator Liz Krueger.

Contact Speaker Silver at:

 

518-455-3791

Fax: 518-4555459

  Email: Speaker@assembly.state.ny.us

 

This is the job for now…

May 19, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 10:48 pm

 

Now that waterboarding is probably history, may I suggest that suspected terrorists be forced to sit through a meeting of the “leaders” in Albany….

Today, Tues. May 19th,  nine members of the Omnibus Consortium representing tax reformers, good government groups, unions, and farmers -including yours truly representing Taxnightmare.org -sacrificed for the cause of property tax justice by sitting through another “leaders” meeting in Albany.

If I never do anything more for beleaguered homeowners and renters in this state, I will have paid my dues today.

Watching these “leaders” play Middle School Gotcha; enduring their eternal  tap dancing around sans  grace or purpose; listening to them tell about their great exploits in the cause of tax reform-(Hey guys, you haven’t actually done any tax reform in thirty years!) has me- and any other sentient being who sat through that charade- steaming!

Some highlights or should I say low points:

There was an extended discussion on taxing cigarettes sold by-either ‘Indians’ or ‘Native Americans’- depending on who was playing games with the nomenclature.. and P.C. or Non P.C. it didn’t have a whole helluva lot to do with the purported topic of tax relief anyway.

The Assembly Minority Leader said he was enjoying himself and intermittently the “leaders” had a giggle or two over their own wit. I’m glad they think something’s funny about people losing their shelter but the rest of the world doesn’t think it’s amusing at all.

There was extended discussion about reinstating the Star rebate-not basic or enhanced Star which are still operational of course- but the rebate checks that went to everyone alive or dead in NYS including people who hadn’t paid the taxes and multimillionaires who really didn’t need the thousand buck gift they got anyway.

Considering that no one who has been writing in to the Senate website has even asked for the rebate to be reinstated, this was a colossal waste of time.

In fact the clear winner of the massive voting by citizens on the Senate website was the bill we are supporting, Sen. Krueger’s Bill S4239. This probably wasn’t the outcome the Senate wanted to get from the expensive website toy so they simply  ignored the results.

Then of course-remember this meeting was about the urgent need for property tax relief and reform NOW- we were treated to a lengthy discussion of who loved and who hated and who simultaneously did and didn’t vote for a 4% tax cap which would raise your taxes 4% every year..or maybe more if overridden and maybe less if only temporary….

….BY THIS TIME –thinking of my friends who were on the verge of losing their historic farm, or my friend who cares for her sick adult child and may lose her home to property taxes which are 50% of her income– I was ready to settle for nothing less from our “leaders” than that they commit ritual suicide which any decent leader would do in Japan upon failing in a similarly catastrophic way.

Since these guys have served in the legislature for a century or more they certainly can be charged with failure for not providing relief  or reforming the chaotic, outrageous property taxes at some point during their lengthy tenure.

And oh yes! They chanted “mandate relief” for a while like a mantra….”OM, m-a-n-d-a-t-e relief…now I said the magic word I’m a prince.”

Not bloody likely!

 After resolving nothing at all and displaying an insulting disregard for desperate taxpaying citizens, disgusted press people, and ME (now feeing like Mt. Etna about to blow my Sicilian top) the “leaders” got up and left. They promised to come back at a later date. What the hell for??!!!

I have to tip my hat a little to Sen. Klein….though I prefer Sen. Krueger’s bill to his (Krueger’s bill was essentially Frank Mauro’s Bill and it is state of the art), the Senator stayed on message…the circuit breaker, the circuit breaker.

He was met with disdain because he couldn’t tell the assembled leaders, to their satisfaction, how to pay for the circuit breaker to save people’s homes….the same way you pay for your salaries, perks, health care, life time pensions and pet projects, guys…..that’s how you pay for it….and the bill-in both senses- is long overdue.

Okay, enough venting.

I can tell you that Sen. Klein and Sen. Krueger are meeting seriously to reconcile the differences in their respective circuit breaker bills. When they do, the majority leader, Malcolm Smith, who seems steadfast in his promise to pass a tax relief bill in the Senate, should honor his commitment and pass a Krueger/Klein..or Klein/Krueger (this IS Albany and that stuff matters) Bill.

Then we need a bill that is the “same as” in the Assembly-and we’re not talking about the ‘one house’ circuit breaker the Assembly managed to eke out last year. It had some good bits but provided very, very, little relief.

The Assembly needs to step up and provide an approximation of S4239.

You had better call or fax your Assembly members and tell them you are watching!

Now let’s define some of this stuff:

Relief is the circuit breaker…it puts a kind of ceiling on  an INDIVIDUAL’S property taxes based on their income.

Reform is the state paying its fair share of education and Medicaid and other services it currently fobs off onto property taxes.

A tax cap on the budget of a school or a government entity is neither relief or reform.

For one thing, it puts the decision of what items to cut in the hands of the bureaucrats who overwhelming keep their own numbers and perks and salaries up and cut the services they oversee…whether it’s children’s services or class size or medical services- to satisfy  the budget cap.

Services suffer but the hierarchies continue to proliferate and spend on themselves.

Caps put the foxes to guard the henhouse. It’s interesting to note that Suozzi’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Prop. Tax reform wanted to cap school budgets but NOT county budgets. Suozzi is the county exec. of Nassau county…hhmmm…see what I mean?

A “one house bill” is s device whereby nothing gets done but the politicians get bragging rights. “Well we passed a grand reform bill. It’s not our fault the Senate/Assembly didn’t pass a companion bill.” Yeah, right!

So far we have waited several decades-and some of these guys have been in the legislature all that time- for BOTH houses to pass the same bill so it could become law. Nada, niente, zilch.

An unfunded mandate is the state telling a school or locality to do something-like yet another useless standardized test- and not paying for it. So property taxes have to be raised to pay for the mandate.

This is the year Albany has to come across with prop. tax relief and reform.

The unbelievably banal spectacle we sat through today does not give me much confidence in Albany’s  sincerity———–Well, maybe they’ll surprise me.

_______________________________________

Gioia reporting from yet another Albany flop.

May 16, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:35 pm
 

 

TAXNIGHTMARE.ORG BRINGS YOU MESSAGES FROM DEDICATED PROP. TAX REFORMERS AROUND THE STATE…THIS IS FROM RICH IN TICONDEROGA

 

 

Dear fellow New York property tax reform supporter:


      I believe you will be happy to know that NY State Senator Liz Krueger is sponsoring S4239, the “Omnibus” property tax circuit breaker legislation that many of us have been supporting. For those of us in Senator Betty Little’s district, you will be happy to learn that she is co-sponsoring S4239, continuing her long-standing support for property tax reform. An announcement from her office is attached at the end of this e-mail.

      I encourage you to try out an automated calculator available at HTTP://WWW.OMNIBUSTAXSOLUTION.ORG/ determine what tax relief the Krueger bill would have in your personal situation. (No personal identification is required.) Click on the small calculator icon at the lower left of the web site’s first page. After you enter your household income and property taxes, hit “calculate”. Be sure you scroll down to see not just your tax relief for the first year (2009), but also for the fourth year (2012) when the bill is fully phased in. There is a substantial increase in eligibility and benefits over the four years. 


      Remember that S4239 allows families to still receive their basic STAR and enhanced STAR benefits and covers not just school taxes but town and county taxes as well. It will cover renters as well as homeowners. Because the bill provides relief first to those paying high percentages of their income in property tax, not everyone will be immediately eligible.  For families still not eligible by 2012, S4239 will provide insurance for a day when they may lose income due to retirement, sickness, or unemployment — or for when property taxes go even higher than they already are. 

       Please write or call your senator if you have not done so already to express your support for S4239. You can also go to the new NY State Senate web site, www.nysenate.gov to express your support for S4239.  This state-run web site is currently canvassing residents to measure their support for property tax reform. Your support at this web site is especially important right now, if possible, before a May 20th meeting the governor is having with legislators.

You can reach this NY State Senate poll directly by going to:      http://propertytaxideas.nysenate.gov/

You will find a number of options involving the Krueger circuit breaker bill (S4239).  Supporting any or all of these Krueger circuit breaker options would be helpful.


       We hope in the near future to have a “twin” bill in the Assembly and will contact you again when we can tell you that good news.

       Just for your quick reference, I am repeating below the basic legislative provisions of S4239 which I sent to you earlier. While you can compute your own property tax relief from this, go ahead and give the automated calculator a try at
www.omnibustaxsolution.org.
    
        Again, thank you for your past support for property tax reform.

                         Richard Wray
                         Ticonderoga, NY

                         RJWray@hotmail.com

       

Here’s a quick glimpse of the relief S4239 will provide for individuals:    

For 2009: resident homeowners with incomes of $100,000 or less would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded 9% of household income.

For 2010: resident homeowners with incomes of $100,000 or less would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded 8 1/2% of household income;

AND renters could count 15% of their rent as their household property tax equivalent when applying this formula.

For 2011: resident homeowners with incomes of $100,000 or less would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded 7 1/2% of household income;

AND resident homeowners with incomes more than $100,000 and less than or equal to $150,000 would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded $7,500 plus
8 1/2% of income above $100,000 ;

AND renters could count 20% of their rent as their household property tax equivalent for each year beginning in 2011 when applying this formula.

For 2012 AND THEREAFTER: resident homeowners with incomes of $100,000 or less would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded 6% of household income;

AND resident homeowners with incomes more than $100,000 and less than or equal to $150,000 would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded $6,000 plus
7% of income above $100,000 
   
AND resident homeowners with incomes more than $150,000 and less than or equal to $250,000 would get back from the state 70% of the property tax paid that exceeded $9,500 plus
8 1/2% of income above $150,000 

    *******************************************************

 

May 15, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:15 pm

 

OKAY GUYS…..THIS IS GETTING SERIOUS..IT’S SHOOTOUT TIME AT THE OK CORRAL…TRANSLATION..There is a meeting of the “leaders” in Albany on Tuesday May19th to decide the fate of all you property taxpayers (and that includes renters).

“Leaders” in case you didn’t know, means Gov. Paterson, Speaker Silver (Assembly), and Majority Leader Smith (Senate).

The last meeting was on property taxes…this is also about property taxes and they will presumably speak to the issue…and make some announcements about their decisions.

Our Omnibus/Krueger bill S4239 has aced the Senate website poll …will they pay attention to your wishes as expressed there??

Another Senate bill, Senator Kleins’s circuit breaker bill is complicating our drive to get a circuit breaker this session. It doesn’t include all property taxes in the individual cap on how much you can pay in taxes…it is pie in the sky and not much pie at that.

There are other flaws in Klein. If fact  there have been four versions put into play. If you can’t get it right the first time you have a problem guys….

We will be in Albany for this meeting telling “truth to power”…by WE I mean Taxnightmare.org reps and our Omnibus Consortium partners.

This is getting very old, Albany! Do it and get off the…well you know.

SORRY BUT THERE’S A JOB FOR YOU TO DO….so get busy all you taxpayers…

Call Sen. Klein and Senator Smith ASAP Tell them you want S4239 and you want it this session. Tell Sen. Klein to join Sen Krueger on S4239 and to get out of the way of a solution to the devastating property tax problem.

Klein’s bill has unacceptable portions and is ill prepared to meet Assembly scrutiny….

 

Senator Jeffery Klein:

Telephone:
718-822-2049
518-455-3595
Fax:
718-822-2321

Email: jdklein@senate.state.ny.us

 

Senator Malcolm Smith:

Tel:  (212) 298-5585 / Fax:  (212) 298-5605

Email: masmith@senate.state.ny.us

 

 

 

 

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