October 28, 2010
Thanks to the hip and savvy senior club of New Paltz and Gardiner…Thursday, October 28, 2010
for inviting us to a discussion of property taxes yesterday…
Prez. George and Secretary Kate and Ed and (La dolce) Vita and Bella and Jane and so many other smart and up-to-date folks taught me a lot more about the “guts” of this property tax CATASTROPHE than I taught them…Many of the members are leaders in their communities and are contributing their experience and years of service for the general wellbeing of all of us…it was enlightening.
What I learned was that people-even religious people- are upset by the generous property tax exemptions going to some religious communities. This makes sense because the rest of us are “tithed” to make up the difference.
People support education but do not want to pay for the high cost and excessive numbers of administrative positions that are clearly costly and useless. The point was made by a participant that NYC with vastly more students has many fewer supernumeraries.
Another club member showed me that folks are UNDERWHELMED by the budget cap that lots of pols are pushing. This group wasn’t buying it.
In one town represented by the club the budget went up 1.8% but their taxes went up 10% and 11%. So much for the cap.
(Don’t try to sell snake oil to people with a lot of experience in life.)
The group supported the concept that income should determine how much we pay in property taxes.
Many seniors will leave NYS because of these taxes. Many more will see their children leave because young families can’t afford a home here.
The situation is perilous for the middle class and this group was “hip” to that fact.
(I also had a nice talk with a lively, attractive gal about “boy toys” but that’s another story and I’ll never tell.)J
Thanks guys…it was an enlightening afternoon for me…and fun.
Officers of the New Paltz-Gardiner Seniors:
Officers of the New Paltz-Gardiner Seniors:
President – George Wheeler
Vice President – Clara Stockhoffer
Recording Secretary – Kay Morrissey
Treasurer – Heinz Pfaff
Corresponding Secretary – Joyce Ettess
October 25, 2010
Gubernatorial campaign rhetoric L
SCARY!!!MondayOctober 25, 2010
Shortly after I read a great piece in Newsday by
John Hildebrand, ace reporter, I picked up an interview with Cuomo in the NYTimes.
Are they on different planets??
Hildebrand did a wonderful job covering the property tax mess in Nassau…with some folks paying 20% more in school taxes even with budgets that increased “only” 2 and 3%.
I hate to say we told you so?? But we did.
The same anomaly will occur with the Dunce Cap…property taxes going up fast and very unevenly…
BUT a circuit breaker cap on individual tax bills would stop this nonsense cold and the neighbors wouldn’t pick up the tab for what you save-unlike what happened in Nassau and what will continue to happen with a snake oil tax levy dunce cap not pegged to individual bills.
OUR CIRCUIT BREAKER CAP SERVES INDIVIDUALS NOT SIMULCRA.
So did the interview in the Times discuss this horrible situation in Nassau… and all through NYS?
Naw,the probably next governor sent shivers up the spine of anyone who knows anything about property taxes by suggesting moves that would make everything infinitely worse..
No new ideas, no new initiatives, no understanding of the issue…a lot of chest thumping.
What he said was he was going to “equalize” the already sinfully small state aid to education package by taking it away from “wealthy” suburbs and other upstate and downstate communities and give it to “poorer” districts…okay so poor and middle income folks living in so called wealthy areas (Nassau/ Westchester?) will end up paying more than wealthy individuals in “poor” areas…
…AND POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS ALIKE WILL END UP PAYING LOTS MORE ANYWAY IN THE LONG RUN!
What an effing train wreck.
So here’s the newest political propaganda on tax reform…move the crap around… instead of flushing the property tax down the toilet, flush the working and middle class down instead..
Reforming the system SHOULD mean treating individuals who get the bill as INDIVIDUALS and not averages on a graph!
In addition our probably next governor said he decried the fact that corporate leaders (Wall St.? Morgan Stanley? AIG? Lehman Bros??) had ceded power to unions!!! Aka middle class workers!!! COULD I POSSIBLY HAVE HEARD THAT RIGHT?
Okay…so on what planet is this man running for president ? (not a typo)
Is it a planet where the ultra- rich are paying income taxes actually based on their incomes and NOT jumping through corporate loopholes into the billionaire club?
Is it a place where corporations are NOT buying elections?
Is it a planet where the middle income folks are NOT paying 40% of their incomes to keep from losing their family homes and farms at fire sales to weekending CEO’s with huge bonuses from the bail out??
IT SURE ISN’T PLANET EARTH!
Good grief! …and Paladino playing in the troglodyte league of politicians…”Let’s cut income taxes on the wealthy???grunt, grunt”…
These pols have gotten to my very last Sicilian nerve…as a famous and really smart Harlem boss once said to a mafia guy trying to move in with drugs…
“Take that SHIT downtown!”
October 22, 2010
Vocabulary of tax reform-a PRIMER…
So many of us are confused about all the terminology attaching to the property tax reform movement that we thought a Rosetta Stone was in order…
You may recall that no one could read ancient Egyptian until an ancient stone stele –used in a fort in Rashid (Rosetta)- was found with the same thing written in ancient Greek and Egyptian demotic and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs… because of this discovery ancient Egyptian writing began to be decoded.
So I will decode for you some hieroglyphs of the property tax.
Taxnightmare Rosetta Stone
Property tax- money paid in blackmail to ransom one’s home.
Real estate value- a fictional number which rises to meet rising blackmail demands.
Equalization rate- ancient Egyptian number hieroglyph before the Rosetta Stone was discovered and after all the Ancient Egyptians who understood it had died.
Thought to be a tool used for the pacification of slave populations throughout the ancient world.
Tax levy cap- a device used by the sophists in ancient Greece to persuade slave populations that had been pacified by the equalization rate that if they just rowed harder they could avoid a whipping.
Now you understand the subject, here’s a brief advisory.
For those of us working for justice and on the side of the good guys there is only one remedy for the evils of the dreaded property tax.
That remedy is the “CAP tied to income” AKA the “CIRCUIT BREAKER tax limit CAP” which caps your individual property tax.
This does not interrupt services and your neighbors don’t pick up the slack.
This CB cap is part of the Omnibus Bill which also makes provision to reform the entire midden (ancient pile of garbage) that is the property tax. (very important!)
So all you suckers (taxpayers), if the bosses (legislators) tell you they’re for a CAP…WATCH OUT for the old bait and switch!
Make sure you are on the same page and talking about the SAME cap.
Make sure they mean the REAL cap, the circuit breaker CAP and not the one that just makes you row harder.
October 20, 2010
………not her fault …the blame lies elsewhere..
Let’s just fix it! Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Despite our best efforts there will always be folks who fail to appreciate, or just don’t want to hear, that — unlike what apparently happened during the mortgage crisis — most of those overburdened by property taxes did nothing wrong. They did not buy “too big a house”. They bought what they could afford. They took care of their finances, often paid off the mortgage years ago, have made no improvements, and now with income frequently stagnant or flat in retirement they find that New York State’s taxation and fiscal policies along with the vagaries of the real estate market have led to property tax bills larger than their former annual mortgage payments.
John Whiteley-Circuit Breaker Tax Limit expert-Omnibus Consortium
October 19, 2010
October 16, 2010
SCALES OF INJUSTICE
10/16/2010 12:04 AM