TaxNightmare.org End the property tax nightmare!

March 31, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 10:42 pm

Important new link in the Omnibus Consortium chain…….a super new website  for property tax reform: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

 

http://www.taxreformagenda.com/

 

Keep informed by checking links periodically…

There will be more news soon on our blog.

 

While Albany is on vacation (because they have worked themselves to the boneL for us..AS IF!) we’re on the job…and on their case…

 

 

March 29, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 7:01 pm

writing-letter

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 7:00 pm

 

From the trenches…. tax reformers write to their (vacationing)  legislators…3/29/2010

 

TO__________________,

You surely know Gioia Shebar (thanks Russ J but maybe not) and the TaxNightmare group (that they do know..YES!). Please take note and support the use of the stock transfer tax for funding school tax reform and for crying out loud, PLEASE get the monkey off our backs! I’ve got about another 2 years before I will have to vacate the state. Lucky for me, my job will allow me to live in any of 14 states, and at least 2 of them have (besides no income tax)WAY lower property tax burdens.

I’d like to stay in NY, however. Come on, give us all a hand. Make that government up there do something besides be in the news for the latest scandal.

Russ

 

And PARTS OF Another  letter from a prominent and very active property tax REFORMER to a legislator ….

TO___________________________________________,

The property tax reform initiative will continue to be brought up continuously in discussions for enhancing quality of life in New York State until a solution is put forward that takes care of the residential property owners most in need of relief. I will continue to remind anyone that residential property owners are the most abused and neglected constituency of all the special interest groups that lobby government for favorable legislation suitable to their agenda. Simply put, there never has been a really serious effort before to address exorbitant property taxes with the body language for most politicos confirming this concern. I am happy to see Assemblyman Englebright take a leadership stance when it comes to addressing exorbitant property taxes.

While it is understandable as you mentioned that a special interest such as
the bond/stock traders with this tax imposed might move out of state due to
higher cost of doing business, I personally think we can at least tax
perhaps four billion which would be enough to take care of the residential
property owners most in need. The economy will get better eventually and
when it does, I might propose phasing out the recently imposed tax and
replace it with increased state revenues elsewhere to maintain the Circuit
Breaker. Money used for member items are also an area that should be under
scrutiny to address incorporating a circuit breaker bill which would benefit
homeowners the most. As mentioned, I agree with a lot of the groups who
benefit from member items, however, they should be funded directly through
individuals instead of taxpayer dollars.

In closing, I appreciate the information you sent pertaining to changes made
so I can keep up with current data regarding current efforts to address
exorbitant property taxes. I would like to continue to be updated of any
proposed changes as they might occur. In addition, I would appreciate being
notified of efforts made by Assemblyman Englebright to get fellow assembly
colleagues to sign onto the current legislation along with increasing the
tax benefit from 30% to 70%. Seventy percent is most critical to prevent
more people from being forced to sell their homes. Also, at your suggestion,
I would be happy to help with getting Assemblyman Englebright’s colleagues
to sign on to this legislation and bring relief to long suffering
homeowners.

Thanks again for your efforts and I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter 
..and one of many, many emails to taxnightmare –this one from NYC- confirming that citizens  are letting Albany know they want the stock transfer tax activated to save this state…

E-mails sent this morning.  Thanks for letting us know about this.  What a sound solution!

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:15 am

fox

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:02 am

 

RANDOM  MATTERS  WHILE  WAITING  ( NOT FOREVER,ALBANY L ) FOR STATE GOVERNMENT TO finish the budget and PASS AND FUND PROPERTY TAX REFORM 3/28/2010 11:43 PM

I TOLD THEM SO… AND I’M NOT AT ALL HAPPY ABOUT BEING PROVED CORRECT.

When questioned by an Albany finance person about why I thought budget “caps” (instead of capping an individual’s property taxes via the Omnibus circuit breaker) were frankly dumb, I suggested one big problem with school budget “caps” was that he would be putting the foxes in charge of guarding  the henhouse.

The folks who would be in charge of what to cut in order to “cap” the budget, would be high priced, excessively compensated administrators like superintendents and assistant superintendents.

I was willing to give odds these guys were never going to cut their own administrative positions or perks or salaries no matter how excessive .

They could be counted upon to cut teachers and children’s programs instead.

Bingo! Comes the recent loss of state aid to school districts and guess who cuts teachers, kids’ programs, and everything but their perks and privileges? Administrators of course.

Give me a break here taxpayers. It’s hard enough to talk to NYC legislators about property tax reform when more school aid per capita is flowing into areas outside the city than to the five boroughs; but when I have to justify that extra aid going to school districts that wantonly support over 650 superintendents and goodness only knows how many assistant supers, wasting  many millions outside the classroom per year, it’s a much harder sell.

So when a community gives the superintendent a hefty raise; supports three other supernumeraries (not counting school administrators, like principals) -just the expensive ones sitting around the district office looking important -and then allows these administrators to cut TEACHING STAFF and MANY STUDENT PROGRAMS- well it’s no fun for me to say, “I told you so.”

You think I’m talking just about your district? Wrong! I’m reading about and getting letters from around the state that superintendents are cutting everything to the bone that pertains to children and the people who actually teach them, while the same superintendents are walking away with the same booty that made them among the most highly remunerated earners in the state.

“Cap” the budgets?   Just keep putting the foxes to guard the henhouse and see how many hens you have left.

 

 

March 25, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 9:04 pm

scales1

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:58 pm

HERE WE GO …THE PUSH IS ON……..WE ARE INSISTING THAT ALBANY USE A PORTION OF THE STOCK TRANSFER TAX TO DO MAIN STREET SOME GOOD…FOR A CHANGE….to FUND THE Omnibus PROPERTY TAX REFORM BILLS WAITING IN THE SENATE AND THE ASSEMBLY..3/25/2010

…and we’re asking you (and asking you to tell all your friends and all those people who send you jokes) to email or call your Assemblyperson and Speaker Silver right now…

First (below) there’s a sample email …you can do your own of course but restrain yourselfL…I had to restrain myself why shouldn’t you suffer alsoJ

Then you’ll see our press release which explains the whole process and reasons for using this particular already existing tax.

After that will be the fact sheet…the numbers ( almost unbelievable but true.)

And last (no disrespect intended) the Assembly members’ emails

Please write!!!!

 

To ————,

Middle and working class New Yorkers throughout the state are hard pressed to keep a roof over their heads because of out-of-control property taxes on homeowners and renters. Yes, renters.

We figure 20% of rents go to property taxes.

There is a ready source of very useful funding for property tax reform-the stock transfer tax.

It amounts to about 11-16 billion every year and is now being collected and rebated to Wall St..

A small portion of that tax-which amounts to a penny or a fraction of a penny on a transfer- should be kept and used to allow New Yorkers to remain in their homes.

This tax was used before in a similar crisis…we all have to share in the pain of this recession.

                        BUT

Wall St. will hardly be in excruciating pain if it foregoes a fraction of a penny rebate from an already existing tax in order to save Main St.

Use a portion of this tax now to fund property tax reform and end the crisis. We’re watching.

Signed ——————-

 

  

Press Release

 

For Immediate Release                                                                     

March 25, 2010

 

Contact:

Ron Deutsch, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness (518) 469-6769  

Gioia Shebar, Tax Nightmare.org (845) 256-0082

Susan Zimet, Ulster County Legislator, (845) 527-5309

John Whiteley, NYS Property Tax Reform Coalition, (518) 585-6837       

Robert McKeon, Tax Reform Effort of Northern Dutchess (TREND) (845) 399-4582

 

Main Street Needs Help From Wall Street

Property Tax Groups Urge State to Stop Wall Street Giveaways

 

The Omnibus Consortium — a statewide coalition of property tax reform groups, fiscal watchdogs, education advocates and unions — is urging members of the Senate and Assembly to provide urgently needed property tax relief and to ask Wall Street to help fund it (property tax reform proposals can be found at www.omnibustaxsolution.org). The Consortium members contend that we can no longer continue to subsidize Wall Street at the present levels while we leave people on Main Street struggling with record foreclosures and high unemployment.

 

Revenue collected by New York State from the Stock Transfer Tax (fact sheet attached) has risen dramatically in recent years and remained at near record levels for 2009 (approximately $16 Billion).  Unfortunately, in 1981 New York State made an agreement to rebate the entire annual amount of the tax — which rightfully belongs to the people of our state — back to the brokers, basically as an inducement to ensure the Stock Exchange’s continued presence in New York City. While Wall Street is obviously important to the state’s financial health, we believe that, just as the people of our state helped rescue Wall Street from its financial crisis, New York State should now ask Wall Street to forgo a modest portion of the stock transfer tax rebate to fund property tax relief for residents experiencing unsustainable property tax burdens made even worse by the state’s continued financial crisis and cuts to schools, healthcare and localities.

The consortium members believe that there are many ways in which Wall Street can help in solving New York’s property tax and budget crisis.  For example, simply lowering the rebate level of the Stock Transfer Tax from 100% to 80% would produce revenue of $3.2 Billion, sufficient to gradually phase in a meaningful property tax circuit breaker while reducing the massive cuts to local governments and schools that are being debated in Albany and which would place additional pressure on our local taxes.

 

 

 

 

Some Facts to Consider:

·    The Great Recession was, in large part, caused by finance sector excesses.

·    Wall Street’s record 2009 profits resulted largely from taxpayer bailouts and favorable federal monetary policies that privilege the finance sector.

·    Wall Street is looking at record profits: $58 billion in 2009 (3 times higher than the previous record set in 2006 according to Mayor Bloomberg) and cash bonuses exceeding $20 billion (which does not count tens of billions in stock options that were given as bonuses as well)

·    While Wall Street may have recovered, New York’s Main Street economy remains mired in the Great Recession.

·    Widespread economic distress (lost jobs, lost health care, lost homes through foreclosures, lost retirement savings, lost opportunities) will continue for the foreseeable future.

 

The Consortium also acknowledges the fact that when the state pulls back on its funding commitments to education and aid to municipalities the inevitable result is an increase in taxes at the local level to make up the difference.

 

Stock Transfer Tax Collections Before Rebates*

State Fiscal Year Ending In:

Amount:

1980

              452,743,623

1981

              580,660,890

1982

              561,440,112

1983

              793,351,417

1984

           1,023,718,768

1985

              973,710,060

1986

           1,232,497,287

1987

           1,527,383,132

1988

           1,755,983,416

1989

           1,375,278,554

1990

           1,610,760,964

1991

           1,706,615,076

1992

           2,210,761,060

1993

           2,365,933,800

1994

           2,935,823,760

1995

           3,003,612,181

1996

           3,595,094,985

1997

           4,104,580,775

1998

           5,572,567,976

1999

           6,782,443,468

2000

           7,494,935,815

2001

           7,631,765,383

2002

           6,682,575,506

2003

           9,288,841,525

2004

         10,605,122,527

2005

         11,549,250,124

2006

         11,593,533,764

2007

         13,419,216,071

2008

         16,313,860,949

2009

         15,991,810,068

 

*The tax is rebated at the following rates:

Beginning October 1, 1979:    30%

Beginning October 1, 1980:    60%

Beginning October 1, 1981:  100%

Source: Table 22, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, 2008-2009 New York State Tax Collections: Statistical Summaries and Historical Tables, November 2009.

Reduce the Stock Transfer Tax Rebate to 80%

(Could raise $3.2 billion annually)

 

(Secs. 270-281-a State Tax Law): The stock transfer tax is basically a sales tax on the transfer of shares of stock with a number of exemptions including an exemption for the original issuance of stock. However, transfers of treasury stock are taxable.

 

The tax has been in effect since 1905 but unfortunately the money is currently tallied, assessed, collected and then handed right back to the brokers who paid it in the form of a 100% rebate. The tax was fully collected until 1981.  The state began rebating the tax in 1979 (at 30%), 1980 (at 60%) and in 1981 (at 100%).

The way it works is simple. The broker fills out a return (form MT-650), submits payment to the state and the state wires the money right back to the broker.  In the past the state had to momentarily take possession of the tax to fulfill the arcane requirements of its bond agreement with the Municipal Assistance Corporation (this is no longer the case).

In order to discourage speculation, consideration should also be given to tying the underlying tax rate to a person’s trading volume: the lower the trading volume, the lower the tax. This would lessen the frenzied volatility that caused many of Wall Street’s problems in recent decades.

NYS currently rebates 100% of the nearly $16 billion in Stock Transfer taxes back to brokers right after it is paid.  We suggest that 80% be temporarily rebated and the State retain 20% (during our economic downturn) which would result in $3.2 billion annually in state revenue that could be used to provide property tax relief and close the state budget gap.

At 80% rebate level the tax rate would be as follows:

Selling Price (per share)

Rate (per share)

Less than $5

.0025 cents

$5 or more but less than $10

.005 cents

$10 or more but less than $20

.075 cents

$20 or more

1 cents

 

 

 

 

For more information please contact Ron Deutsch at New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness

at 518-469-6769.

 

 

March 24, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 3:58 pm

volcano_edited

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 3:44 pm

In our OmnibusTaxSolution Consortium conference call an hour ago…3/24/2010

…we approved of the appropriate (and our chosen) method of funding for tax reform.

As soon as it’s finished I will publish our press release -on this blog- detailing how and why Albany must use the Stock Transfer Tax (which I have been blogging about for many days) to bring relief to victims (everybody) of the property tax debacle.

When you read the press release it might help to go back to the Omnibus site http://www.omnibustaxsolution.org/

…..and take another look at the people and diverse groups which have signed on to this property tax relief and reform funding solution. This is not play time.

It’s crunch time in NYS.

I have no patience with those who come up with lame objections-(Wall St. will move to Hoboken??-Give me a break! ) at  the mere mention of this stock transfer tax.

These folks -who will ( I guarantee) attack using the already existing tax- are bought and paid for… and not by the people of this state….they have zero patience or empathy for homeowners and renters who have to flee the state because their property taxes make it impossible to keep a roof over their heads.

They have no solution to the property tax except people should sell and leave…everyone should sacrifice their entire bank account for public services that Albany won’t pay for…or NYS should get rid of firemen and police and parks and shelters for battered women and children  and teachers and everything… but DON’T change the status quo which has served their masters very well and the rest of us not all…and maybe in the far distant future we’ll have a smaller budget…and maybe you’ll get help with your humongous property taxes……

%$#@*&^ that!

 …My style –(angry Sicilian venting)-not the Omnibus Consortium style- (responsible, logical, knowledgeable, very smart ).

The consortium press release (done by fiscal and policy experts) will clarify how it all works.

Wait for it.

…meanwhile vent with me…it’s good for your health….all together now…..^%$#@** THE RESISTANCE IN ALBANY TO PROPERTY TAX RELIEF AND REFORM!!

 

 

March 23, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 11:19 pm

transfer-tax-001_edited

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