End the property tax nightmare!

November 11, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:30 am

SO WE LEARNED TODAY –11/10 –that Deficit Reduction is a   WORK IN PROGRESS….

……and PROPERTY TAXES that are  destroying whole communities don’t even rate a footnote in the deliberations…

While we wait for the Albany mills to grind slowly  (the rest of the quote doesn’t apply. They just grind slowly…period) let me shout out at the pols that their inaction on property tax  relief has driven families to the brink of disaster…people around the state are waiting to see whether they’ll lose their homes to confiscatory property taxes; Newburgh –just one example of a city in big trouble-needs an  unthinkable 83% property tax increase just to stay viable; foreclosures are up dramatically; and it appears no one on the public payroll meeting in Albany today even SUGGESTED EMERGENCY measures to stem the destruction. What are these people thinking!!

In the eyes of our public officials Making the books look good takes precedence over making good on promises to do something about extortionate property taxes That’s NOT OKAY Albany!



November 9, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 11:28 pm

We await the special session tomorrow (Tues. 11/10)   HOPING

·      ….to hear the Governor ask the legislature to become a uni-cameral body….after all during the “coup” they effectively shut down one house, the Senate….….and, mirabile dictu, we survived. What a Deficit Reduction Plan that would be !

·       ….the Governor will suggest that the state Capitol, a truly sumptuous building, be sold and turned into a theater, an opera house, and condos…..with office space (and a lot of toilets).

Imagine theaters with adequate toilet facilities for women … No more long lines ….and what a bonanza$$$$ for the taxpayers.

·      …that the legislature will stand and applaud wildly when the Governor asks them to give up their member item money and pay their own hotel bills when they’re in Albany conducting the business for which they already get extra money..and a salary..and

·      …that the Governor volunteers to turn the governor’s mansion into a high priced …whatever…..and goes to live in a modest house with property taxes that consume 30% of his income-to show solidarity with the people.

·      …that the Governor asks the many tax exempt holy of holies to demonstrate their charitable, “love thy neighbor spirit” by paying a small fee for some of the many services provided for them by those un-tax exempt -soon-to-be homeless neighbors.

·      …that the governor announces he will accede to the wishes of the citizens, good government groups, and fiscal policy organizations and put into effect-immediately- the only legitimate property tax circuit breaker worthy of the name “property tax relief”… WHICH IS THE ONE contained in the Omnibus Solution.


……and guess what? Just one of those will make the Gov. a hero..

…and you know which one..

November 8, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 7:17 pm

A Sunday message from Gene…J

…he says-among other things- that extortion and theft are both legal “when the government does it for ‘public purposes’. “

“Kings used to say, ‘Your money or your life.’

Now Governors say,’ Your money or your property.’ “L

Could Gene be talking about property taxes???? It sure sounds like it.


November 7, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 5:38 pm

What will the special joint session of the legislature produce?? Let’s see if it’s worth the extra $$$ it will cost us.

Sat. Nov. 7th….

Someone said,



 ……that’s just what the legislators cost us for them to sit in those chairs of power….I’m not talking about the services our taxes pay for….just the salaries and perks of the people who are supposed to deliver what we need… and don’t….

…add to that the cost of county legislatures which have even less excuse to exist and you have a colossal waste of public resources….

NYS would be in the black if it had lean and functioning governance without a lot of pols tripping all over each other playing musical chairs.

It might be fun to watch the political games being played except for the fact that homes are being forfeited to pay for the follies of the parasitical governments we support at great cost to our families and our communities.

We want the Omnibus property tax solution this year….or Albany must feel the pain…we are in crisis mode…it is time for great changes in the way state government works…or rather doesn’t.

November 6, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 1:20 am

A Bravura Performance by the Governor-


Tonight on Ch 13 Gov. Paterson showed his stuff and very good stuff it is…J

The Governor is smart, ‘simpatico’, and has a phenomenal memory. He also has charm and a down to earth quality that can be disarming.

He can also be convincing because he is sincere.

As he said, it isn’t easy to be in the executive branch of government when times are bad…it’s a lot easier to be a legislator-one of many- and hide in the crowd…which Albany does  only too well.

Having said that, the governor had the advantage of presenting ONLY the set of facts he found supportive of his arguments …of answering ONLY the questions (those were questions???) which he chose to answer…of presenting only the pieces of the puzzle that he wanted to put together.K

HOWEVER…Even so…Nothing he said contradicted anything I’ve blogged about property taxes and how damaging they are to the economy of New York State- or how bad every attempt at relief has been -or how impossibly inadequate  Albany’s response still is-including the Governor’s attempts to paper over the problem (budget “caps”?? Double Phooey!) and kick the property taxpayers –who are paying 20%,30%,40% and more of their income – to the back of the line in his deficit reduction plan….which may not shrink anything but what’s left of the property taxpayers’ food money.

The governor and the legislators continue to say that taxes are driving people away but fudge like crazy, never telling the whole truth…it’s property taxes that are the major villainnot just any old tax…and the straight up insane property taxes you know about –because you get lots of those bills (school, county, local)- are joined by hidden ones you never think about that are passed along in everything… including rents…

Yes it’s true that ballooning medicaid is a major expense -partly because the feds only pay half and the state has to pay half…but the whole story -which the governor didn’t mention tonight- is  … that NYS –unlike other states-passes along one quarter to property taxes and ONLY funds one quarter in its own budget….not the half the Governor mentioned.

..and on and on…

As I have written many times…there are untapped sources of funds that the governor prefers not to discuss- the burden of property taxes is not equally distributed (800 BILLION IN PROPERTY is off the tax rolls).

In the fat years, the governor and others who held public office DID NOT address waste and problems with duplication of services…. and tax exempts…. and uncollected payments from the feds… and expensive but ill -conceived attempts to cover over the structural problems of property taxes…. and fraud in Medicaid…and on and on…. until NOWWHEN WE ARE IN CRISIS and everything has to be done hastily.

..but no crying over spilt milk.

That was then- when Albany missed just about every opportunity for reform.

This is now- and we have to pay the piper.

BUT the property taxpayer shouldn’t and can’t pay the lion’s share for Albany’s years of neglect.

In fact that’s what will happen under the governor’s plan… when county and school taxes rise to make up for the cuts the Governor says we need to schools and localities and Medicaid.

It is disingenuous of the governor not to acknowledge that cuts will really mean a shift of funding to property taxes……with NO attempt to relieve the taxpayers or reform the system.L

It’ll be sink or swim for homeowners while the state tidies up its books and its credit rating and yours go down the drain.

The governor is intelligent and hard working…and we in the Omnibus Consortium are ready to help him really resolve the problem of people fleeing from destructive property taxes.

We’re on the job…and we will continue to meet with the many people in Albany who are ready to work with us. We hope the Governor is one of them…he can be the prime mover…if he chooses.

The recession didn’t just happen.

Laxity and greed played major roles…the problems in NYS didn’t just happen…they have been a long time in the making….so have the problems with the property tax…and we have had a long time to find a solution…and we have… the Omnibus Solution. Work with us Governor!

November 4, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 4:26 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 3:44 pm




November 1, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 9:45 pm


Sunday, Nov.1

This is for all the irate folks who sent me the story of the  recent generous raise of an Ulster County school superintendent’s already swollen salary… despite the depths of our recession, the administrative excesses continue.

Normally our tax reform job is to focus on shifting these school and Medicaid funding issues to the state-where they belong– via the Omnibus relief and reform bills pending in the state legislature.

The state has the means to deal with these excesses …of course it hasn’t dealt with them–it keeps fiddling around with silly non-starters like bogus budget gimmicks -but it is the state’s job to sort out what we pay for with public funds and –in conjunction with localities- to find out what the public values and what it finds meretricious (an indispensible word when talking about state government).

Apparently-from the letters I’m getting- continued excessive spending on administrative perks and salaries-as opposed to the direct delivery of services– is a VERY SORE point with the electorate.

We can’t stem the horrible tide of property taxes district by district or locality by locality. We need -and we have at hand-a statewide solution in the Omnibus Bills.

BUT THIS STORY brought out the emails and I can’t avoid a detour into the Hudson Valley.

We need to talk about a mindset (prevalent in Albany and in school administration) that says, “Some people are so important they should be immunized against the events that impact the general public…the public that pays their salaries. “

Amazingly-even while people are in financial free fall- administrators of some public institutions continue with business as usual-even when that business is all about enriching themselves at the public trough…and little else.

They don’t even have an iota of shame about accepting raises when people are losing their homes because of the property taxes supporting their raises……

So here goes….



…..that no matter how bad things are for you all, superintendents of publicly financed schools are protected from the devastating effects of the recession and-as a matter of fact- are still getting hefty raises from your escalating property taxes.

WELL…Thank goodness for that!!

I know you feel so much betteras you look for a job– to realize that you are supplying the school superintendents with those big and little luxuries to which they are entitled because……uh

Their six figure salaries  are NOT consumed by the high cost of medical care (it’s in their goody bag for life) and they don’t have to put away for retirement because they mostly have splendid pension plans…not to mention golden parachutes in case somebody is mean to them. Whew! That’s a worry off your mind I bet.

Some school superintendents have other property taxpayer supported luxuries befitting important people whose critical job is to… uh ……let’s see…whose irreplaceable work is to…let me see now…

Let me try again to figure this out..…teachers are actually teaching actual children… nurses are actually seeing to the children’s health…custodial people actually keep the actual building heated and fixed and open…..

……and school superintendents are actually…uh…

Okay. I give up. How come school boards wouldn’t think of asking these exclusive folks to share in the pain of a recession by foregoing a raise or a perk…. or something??

Oh I know! They must be a group apart from the “common herd”…they “toil not neither do they spin”…they-like the lilies of the field- just have to look and be expensive.

They belong to the same exclusive club as state legislators- they must feel they deserve big salaries and perks no matter what’s happening to the communities they “serve”…no matter how the people who supply their goody bags are going down for the third time and drowning in debt and despair….

I guess they must never be made to feel small…. or feel obligated to make a gesture of solidarity with the suffering taxpayers by turning down the BIG $$$$$$ RAISE to the big salary….or maybe even a little part of it… just a gesture maybe?….

….. I suppose they can’t be expected to share the pain even the teeniest bit because…well… because….

It appears that “ordinary” people-who pick up the tab for the “big shots”- should just go without shelter and financial security because the “state” –which caused the problem in the first place-says it doesn’t happen to have the money right now (or ever) to help us…sorry kids…..

…….but apparently this lack of funds doesn’t apply to the so-called educational and political “leaders” who must not ever be discomfited in the slightest ….because…uh… uh….uhuh


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