April 25, 2011
Whoopee! The big bonus baby bailed out club (aka CSNY) is going to have a bought and paid for (by the richest of the rich) “Cap” rally in Albany in May…
Just one more small piece of the larger ongoing campaign to protect the obscene wealth of the uber- rich…(gee you’ve got big ears grandma!)
(BTW…Zee just this moment sent me a piece in the Washington. Post titled “Popular: Taxes on the rich, defense cuts. Unpopular: Everything else.”)
How does the Cap fit into this bigger picture? Easy…read on.
…after we grass roots tax reformers worked for years pro bono (out of pocket-just ordinary pockets not deep ones) to do the right thing for property taxpayers- homeowners and renters…after doing all the work scrupulously to make sure our Omnibus Bill was legit and would actually work to make taxes a tad more equitable and less ruinous for the middle class…after consulting with the tax experts and the most knowledgeable assessors… and hitting the books and talking to hundreds of legislators and thousands of taxpayers…and building consensus…and informing the public…along comes a bunch of Johnny- Come- Late- to the- Issue legislators who couldn’t find tax reform with both hands if it were tattooed on their butts …pushing- of all things- a silly levy cap that works like suction cups on a dead man (it’s better in Yiddish).
Here come the pols who have been on committees like the Real Property Tax Comm. for a hundred and twelve years and have come up empty all these years…discovering they need to finally do something about ruinous property taxes … and finding the levy cap in a heap of old, discarded ideas…safe because it costs Albany and it’s rich patrons nothing…no thinking, no money, no disturbance of business as usual…no millionaire’s tax …they decide to foist it on the public.
…and how about the newbie governor (and the old ones too) who might want to move on to “higher” office and need to quell the rising voices of tax reformers without disturbing their campaign donors…they ALL grabbed onto the levy cap which sounds like it would “cap” your property tax bills but won’t of course and they never bothered to explain that to the public…
Don’t forget the rich, bailed out Wall Street tax deadbeats who don’t want to pay for public services and enjoy their present perks, privileges, and cozy relationships with the aforementioned “public servants”…and who don’t pay nearly what the tax tables say they should…they have hopes that the levy cap might drown out the angry voices demanding they pay their fair share in taxes…or at least SOMETHING… You listening, GE ?
…and finally there are some bone-headed types marching to a levy cap drummer …they’d buy the Brooklyn Bridge if a politician on his way to jail offered it to them at a cut rate…
Here they come… the surrogates or hirelings of the “masters of the universe” without a single coherent or informed thought on making the state better for the middle class working people who keep it going…being bused to a phony “cap rally”…
All this rally will achieve is just to throw a monkey wrench -called the Tax Levy Cap- into the property tax mix….
To stop homeowners and renters from getting property tax relief and reform- namely the Omnibus Circuit Breaker…
Because the rotten status quo benefits the richest few… so they don’t want any changes to their lush life… And they are adept at using our state government to further their selfish ends.
The rally will be staged by sock puppets of the CSNY…this bunch is characterized best by the fact that one of CSNY’S luminaries is working against sick pay for workers and gets big bucks to get corporate property taxes reduced so the rest of us pay through the nose to make up the difference….
AND that’s just one of them…the rest are no doubt worse…and they are the folks who pushed Cuomo’s rich man’s budget..
BTW…Here’s what the tax levy cap WON’T do.
IT WON’T REDUCE MANDATES
IT WON’T REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES
IT WON’T FIX THE TOTALLY BROKEN ASSESSMENT AND PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM
IT WON’T CUT WASTE AND CORRUPTION
IT WON’T REDUCE BUREAUCRACY ON ANY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
IT WON’T PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING
IT WON’T REFORM THE CORPORATE WELFARE SYSTEM IN THE STATE THAT INFLATES PROPERTY TAXES
IT WON’T HELP OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM REFORM ITSELF
IT WON’T CREATE JOBS
IT WON’T BOLSTER CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
IT WON’T HELP PEOPLE WHOSE BREADWINNERS LOSE THEIR JOBS AND HEALTH CARE AND ULTIMATELY THEIR HOMES BECAUSE OF DEVASTATINGLY HIGH PROP. TAXES.
IT WON’T STOP WASTE IN STATE GOVERNMENT WHERE THE WASTE IS AT ITS WORST
IT WON’T MAKE SENSE OF CORROSIVE TAX EXEMPTIONS
IT WON’T STOP TAX DELINQUENCY FORECLOSURES THAT TAKE ALL THE EQUITY IN A HOME, NOT JUST THE TAXES OWED
IT WON’T HONOR THE RESULTS OF THE CFE LAWSUIT WHICH MANDATES THAT THE STATE PAY FOR A SOUND, BASIC EDUCATION FOR EACH CHILD IN THE STATE
IT WON’T MAKE STATE AID FAIR AND EVEN HANDED
IT WON’T PREVENT POLITICIANS FROM HANDING OUT MONEY TO RELIGIOUS TAX EXEMPT VOTING BLOCS AND FAVORED CORPORATIONS AT THE EXPENSE OF PROPERTY TAXPAYERS
MOST OF ALL- IT WON’T ADDRESS THE TERRIBLE GAP IN
WEALTH AND ASSETS IN NYS THAT SUPPORTS A TAX SYSTEM THAT IS DESTROYING THE MIDDLE CLASS TO ENRICH THE TOP 1% OF THE POPULATION….IT FACT IT HASTENS THAT PROCESS!!!!
I’M RUNNING OUT OF SPACE HERE…and there are still a lot more items for my list ….
What the enemies of the middle class (not too strong an epithet) DO N0T want enacted is
our MONEY BACK CIRCUIT BREAKER ( MANY YEARS AND MUCH HARD WORK IN THE MAKING) because it will-as opposed to THE TAX LEVY CAP - save people from devastating property taxes…saving families earning right up to 250,000 in family income…by actually capping-yes the CIRCUIT BREAKER CAPS YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY TAX BILL (the levy cap doesn’t do this) AT A PERCENT OF YOUR INCOME IMMEDIATELY…and your neighbors won’t pay for the shift…
Passage of our circuit breaker would give us- as citizen reformers - the time to work on all the other problems I listed….the problems that state government wants covered up… and we can all rest assured that people’s homes –under the CB- would be protected from property tax foreclosure while we work on reforms.
The tax levy cap is obsolete, a discredited concept, a scam by ambitious, unscrupulous politicians and their rich patrons.
It’s an attempt to push back against every fiscally fair and sound policy change so many have worked for so long…and it’s being pushed hard NOW because we are close to success in achieving real and measurable relief.
The cap at best will do absolutely nothing to relieve your intolerable property tax burden…at worst it will stop relief from reaching your family; and will hurt you and your community and cut vital services… if these people succeed in derailing passage of our money back circuit breaker we’ll be set back years in our struggle for property tax relief and reform.
They will tell you that first they have to pass the cap and then –at some unspecified time (when they have accumulated as much pelf as they can carry?)- they’ll look at the circuit breaker again…
They have ACTUALLY said to us –“you can’t trust the people not to spend wildly on education and other vital services if homeowners are somewhat insulated against financial ruin by the circuit breaker “!!!
This presupposes that politicians and very very rich people have godlike powers to decide what’s best for the rest of us…it implies that the citizens of the state can’t be trusted and these superior beings-the UBER- rich (and therefore “successful”, according to one powerful legislator)- have to make all the decisions for us.
Am I angry? YOU THINK?
On another happier but also related and important note:
The state government –mainly the governor-wants to address a campaign promise ( a good one) and is moving on to cost free issues that have a lot of support-like equality in marriage. Good thing!
After all what thinking person wouldn’t support something as obvious as the rights of “same sex” couples to all the things enjoyed by whoever has those rights now…it’s a good thing for the Gov. to sign into law… civil rights come first.
What is ironic about this is not just that the Governor has hired consultants on what is a pretty clear civil rights issue and should be a piece of cake…(but not in dysfunctional Albany…you need to pay consultants to figure out how to flush in this state )…but that he must know the new families will start out behind the 8 ball of ruinous taxes…because this state allows the few to own almost everything . As a wedding present let the state give us all a circuit breaker …what any bride or groom REALLY WANTS…not a flipping toaster oven…or crummy useless cap.
April 20, 2011
April 19, 2011
A LETTER FROM “GEORGE”
( I REMIND YOU THAT “GEORGE” IS A NORTH COUNTRY PROPERTY TAX REFORMER AUTHOR OF THE OCCASIONAL by George column…)
REVERSE SHOPPING IN THE CAPITAL
OUR NEW GOVERNOR SEEMS TO HAVE HIS SHOPPING LIST A LITTLE BACKWARDS.
MOST LEVEL HEADED PEOPLE THAT WE ALL KNOW, (AUNT BETSY, UNCLE JIM, ETC.) OCCASIONALLY WILL DECIDE THAT THEY WANT AN ITEM THAT HAS TO BE PURCHASED WITH THEIR OWN HARD-EARNED MONEY. IT’S USUALLY A NECESSITY OR A GIFT FOR SOMEONE THEY LOVE.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
WELL FIRST THEY LOOK AT ADS OR THEY HAVE ALREADY SEEN ADS ON THE PRODUCT AND DETERMINED WHAT THEY WANT TO PURCHASE
. NEXT, THEY MAY DO SOME ADDITIONAL RESEARCH, MAYBE ON LINE, OR VIEW MEDIA ADS TO INFORM THEM ABOUT THE PRODUCT.
OF COURSE, THEY DETERMINE JUST HOW MUCH MONEY THEY CAN SPEND TO OBTAIN WHAT THEY WANT.
NOW THEY DECIDE JUST WHERE TO GO TO PURCHASE WHAT THEY WANT.’ THIS USUALLY INVOLVES A TRIP TO A CITY OR SHOPPING DESTINATION WHERE THEY ACQUIRE THE ITEM..
NOT OUR NEW GOVERNOR !
IN ALBANY THIS IS THE WAY IT’S DONE!
FIRST, HE HAS LONG AGO DECIDED WHAT HE WANTS TO HAVE FOR OUR STATE.
NEXT HE TELLS THE RECIPIENTS THAT THEY WILL HAVE THIS ITEM. (APPARENTLY “AS IS”)
THEN HE TAKES A SHOPPING TRIP TO THE BIG CITY TO SEE HOW MUCH MONEY (COMMITTEE TO SAVE NEW YORK) CAN BE ACQUIRED TO ENABLE HUGE MEDIA COVERAGE TO SCAM THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK.
THEN, HE PUTS OUT THE ADS SO THE PEOPLE WILL THINK THAT THEY ARE GETTING THE GIFT THAT WILL KEEP ON GIVING…………
WHERE IS THE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF ?
WHERE IS THE MANDATE RELIEF ?
WHO HAS DONE THE RESEARCH?
AND WHO WILL SAVE NEW YORK ????
April 14, 2011
JUST RETURNED from the OMNIBUS CONSORTIUM MEETING in an undisclosed location Jin ALBANY…
Ate, drank and were merry over missteps from the enemy….yep, hard as it is to believe, there are enemies of property tax reform…hey… ANY KIND OF real TAX REFORM!
This gang has a whole load of money to spend because they get massive tax breaks under the present inequitable tax system and they spend it to keep their privileged status and even increase their advantages .
They are throwing the moola around like confetti pushing the cap.
BTW I wish they hadn’t taken ownership the word “cap”. It doesn’t cap property taxes but people have been lead to believe it will. Our CIRCUIT BREAKER DOES CAP your individual property taxes and even reduces them….so don’t be misled. The Omnibus circuit breaker is REALLY an INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY TAX CAP…the TAX LEVY CAP the politicians want (and will be running around touting) is really CRAP…but they can’t spell.
In addition the Richest of the Rich lobby sent expensive flyers to New York City residents decrying the number of superintendents in the system. (I SUSPECT THEY CAN’T TELL L.I.FROM BROOKLYN.)
Since NYC (UNLIKE THE REST OF THE STATE) has ONLY ONE superintendent who is moderately paid (as such things go) it left the recipients scratching their heads over how cutting the ONE super was going to save a whole lot of money. Maybe if these guys actually lived in NYS and didn’t just make their millions here, the PR would be better targetted.
But who’s complaining. These guys-the richest of the rich- like the Comm. to Save NY (translation: SAVE in an offshore bank) have lots of bullets but they can’t shoot straight.
The consortium members discussed this huge money advantage anti- tax reform groups have.
If we lose to these scammers I foresee disaster for homeowners in the form of ever escalating property taxes, huge problems for local governments, curtailing of vital services, and creating a general balls up with their meddling and buying up legislators. But the good guys (That’s Omnibus) never lose so stay with the fight.
This was a work session (with a chocolate chip cookie..). Mindful of how we have to lead the charge to REALLY save NYS, we must have a circuit breaker…and some tax equity wouldn’t hurt either. (Take that Mr. 29 million a year salary and practically no taxes).
NYC residents will benefit as well as Long island and Upstate NY from our work on property tax reform.
A cap will NOT cut property (OR REAL ESTATE) taxes or even prevent them from escalating.
A cap will not address outrageous tax exemptions (in the MANY billions) for land banking and other decidedly unholy practices being perpetrated in the name of religion.
A cap will not break up the bureaucracies costing billions a year that our esteemed Gov. is railing about.
A cap will not heal the wounds of crazy assessment practices (hard to respect a tax that depends on guesstimates and gimmicks to decide how much to tax you.)
A cap WILL cover politicians asses…they think they can say they did something about these problems.
A cap WILL please the richest of the rich who profit from tax inequity.
So Omnibus will continue lobbying and calling in political chits and going all out for circuit breaker legislation.
I have to admit-over a glass of the house red- we traded stories and gossip and rumor and opinion with some legislators and staff we converse with regularly…and discussed facts and innuendo from the media…and analyzed the state of play…e.g. which public servant wants what and is willing to trade what for it…
Let’s just say NO ONE really wants a cap-okay a few dunces- but every pol is afraid to say so…they all really want:
A) the other guy or party to push them into taxing the bail-out billionaires a bit more than the practically zero they’re paying now
B) they are afraid of their future electability when the results of their hit and miss budget cuts materialize….OOPS…”we didn’t expect THAT”, is not a good excuse, Albany.
C) The three men who run things usually want something really badly (like rent regs maybe?) and are willing to trade…or maybe want someone elected in Brooklyn so they give a religious community up-state a big 18 million to finance religious education ( didn’t we cut school aid for everyone else??) and get the votes in Bklyn- maybe?… all horse trading.
Did I say it was pretty!!???
So that’s what we did and more.
You will see the results in coming weeks. Meanwhile the boys and girls in Albany gave themselves two weeks off because they are exhausted from breaking all those eggs without ever managing to make an omelet.
Call their offices just to be annoying. Tell them to get the circuit breaker in play. OR wait until they return from an all -expenses paid jaunt somewhere and THEN pounce. The Omnibus Consortium has your back.