End the property tax nightmare!

December 30, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:50 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:47 pm




Please note this is not a threat nor is it an advisory to the desperate taxpayers…far from it.

My advice to taxpayers is to join our Consortium in lobbying for reform even harder….

…….but it is a word to the wise politician from someone who has seen a great deal of reactive behavior from frustrated citizens.

If people keep losing their homes and/or financial stability  to this obscene out -of -control  tax you can postulate some out-of-control  behavior.

I ran the 200 bodyguard story by an experienced trooper.

He remembers Govs. Rockefeller and Cuomo having MANY fewer troopers assigned to them.

If you chart the numbers I guess the troopers increase with each   5 percentage points the property taxes go up. Since the property taxes have gone up about 50% it kind of  works out that way…this of course is fuzzy math but the idea appeals to me….

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:45 pm



A letter from Marc Molinaro (state assemblyman 103rd district)      to his constituents:  

I hope and trust you have been enjoying a happy and healthy holiday as we look forward to a more prosperous New Year.  As the Governor prepares his State of the State Address and the Legislature readies for our 2010 session, please help make Property Tax Reform the priority it ought to be.


Today, I have sent correspondence to Governor Paterson asking him to make Property Tax Reform (and the Omnibus Property Tax Reform bill) a top priority of his 2010 legislative agenda and a prominent topic in his State of the State address next Wednesday.  Would you join me in sending the message? 


Please send an e-mail or call Governor Paterson:


David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224



December 27, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 4:02 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 3:39 pm



Albany is waxing indignant about the U.S. Senate version of the health reform bill because-unlike the House version- it penalizes states that already have generous Medicaid allowances by not reimbursing them adequately.     

I would expect our representatives in Congress to address this in the final reconciliation. If the stats bear out the imbalance, it must be adjusted.

….but all the “holier than thou attitude” from our state pols who have neglected THEIR responsibility to fund Medicaid and education for years is more than disingenuous…it’s gag inducing.

When Albany complains that the feds would short NYS they fail to mention the many years that Albany has been dumping their share of Medicaid onto homeowners and renters until the burden has destroyed middle class stability in this state.

The federal government has paid half of Medicaid and MOST states the other half for years…

NYS?? Nuh uh! NYS passed along half of its share to the counties which then paid for Medicaid through-you guessed it- property taxes.

If our legislators in Washington fail to reconcile this glitch you can bet Albany will pass the shortfall along to property taxes.

Never one to pay for their responsibilities-what happened to the CFE lawsuit payments??- Albany pols -unless forced to change their wayward behavior-will continue to stiff the property taxpayers.

I advise all of us to get in touch with our lawmakers in Washington and impress on them that Albany will further burden homeowners and renters -with disastrous results- unless this imbalance in the health reform bill is addressed.

I would equally advise them to pressure our state legislature and administration to stop “dicking” around (substitute your own more decorous word here).

The shortfall in medicaid might just put a crimp in Albany’s own glaring perks and privileges or -more likely- give  them an excuse to push some other state funding down onto property taxes…or perhaps they’d have to fix their mismanagement of the entitlement (unlikely).

Albany has for decades had the ability to save homeowners and renters from the abysmal property tax and both parties have refused to seriously consider it.

Some of the same people who are now complaining they might be  shorted by the feds have been in Albany throughout this shift onto property taxes and away from state funding of services.

(But remember also …some in Albany ARE working with us –and very hard- to resolve the property tax crisis and we will tell you when this plays out who our friends are…and who our enemies are. I promise.)

Tell Senators Schumer and Gillibrand (we’re already working with Sen. Gillibrand on property taxes) to change the Senate provision that shorts NYS on Medicaid but stress that Albany must-in turn-  address their own culpability in NOT paying their share of services…that’s the deal…

Get real Albany! Pass the Omnibus Bill. That should be the price you pay for all the $$$ you get from the feds and that you have been gobbling up for your own edification.

December 24, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:08 am


December 23, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 4:39 pm


…AND PAY TAXES ON IT…says Ms. Kristin Davis a former owner of the escort service that allegedly provided Eliot Spitzer with the services which cost him the governorship. (Oh, you know which alleged services!)

If Spitzer runs for state comptroller Ms. Davis will primary him. J

She wants to tax prostitution and marijuana to put the state’s finances in order.

For the entire story check out the Dec. 22nd issue of the Legislative Gazette.

In fact it’s a good paper to read all the time to keep up with Albany…and yes you do want to know what Albany is up to because they can screw up your life in a multitude of ways while you’re busy making a living.

Anyway….I (even IJ) hesitate to comment on the prostitution aspect but as Ms. Davis says people are going to smoke that stuff anyway so why not reap the $$$$ taxes will bring.

Immoral?  (Where’s all the lottery Money??)

One of the most immoral things I can think of right now is families getting turfed out of their homes because of exorbitant, disgraceful property taxes.

If the lady chooses to dedicate ALL those “sin” taxes to property tax reform, you know who I‘m stumping for…for any state job she wants…and the next time some pol asks where Albany can get the $$$ for property tax reform well….

…and the state now has legislation to keep New Yorkers in their homes and protect them from foreclosure by lenders….

That’s great guys…BUT…

…of course this doesn’t do squat for renters and homeowners facing foreclosure from chaotic, calamitous property taxes….

The state remains Scrooge and every villain that ever tied the heroine to the railroad tracks -all rolled in one- this holiday season.

Hey guys, look under your noses. You are the ones causing distress by your continued disgraceful disregard of the harm caused by these iniquitous property taxes….so forgive us if we don’t give a big whoop….

December 22, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:52 am

WAY TO GO LIZ!!! Dec.22

Senator Liz Kreuger, Chair of the Senate Select Comm. on Budget and Tax Reform, has issued a report on her committee’s meeting on Tax Exempts which we attended and blogged a while back.

This is part of her ongoing work on the property tax crisis.

However, unlike the usual run of politicians, Sen. Kreuger does not just investigate and report. She gets it…. and she acts on her findings….

To our immense satisfaction, she has been moving quickly, methodically, and inexorably towards property tax relief and reform.

Cara Matthews (always good-Gannett, Albany Bureau) gives details of Liz’ findings on tax exempts… and repeats Liz’ intention to pass her (and our Omnibus) bill that would institute a REAL circuit breaker and start reform of the property tax.

For more on the tax exempt report you can go to

For more on the Kreuger bill S4239a (same as A8702 Englebright -also a good guy) just look through the entries in this blog…..or log onto


Sen. Kreuger is an exceptional lawmaker.

She goes after the facts without any pre-conceived notions or hidden agendas. That’s unusual, believe me.

Working with Sen. Kreuger and a few other excellent lawmakers we are finally having the conversation that will take us to relief and reform for homeowners and renters.

It’s an intelligent, straightforward, and productive conversation…

…this Senator makes you think state government could actually be made to work….if only there were a LOT more like her in Albany….(oh well, hope springs eternal)

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a whole helluva lot of work to do…on the contrary… it just means sometimes we can enjoy the work.

December 19, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 5:11 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 4:27 pm

LIBERAL?    CONSERVATIVE?  Does not apply!

Property tax reformers have opinions all along the political spectrum on every issue but property taxes.

We all agree-because it’s pretty obvious- that property taxes are a scourge that  is causing dislocation in every community in the state, including New York City.

These particular taxes are unpredictable and exorbitant and are stretched way past the point where they are a tolerable, democratic way to raise money to fund services.

Political labels do not apply in the matter of property taxes.

This doesn’t mean that property tax reform isn’t a political football. It has been and it still is.

The major parties DO NOT want their opponents to get credit for resolving the crisis; and so the crisis has not been resolved.

When the press declares that “taxes are causing New Yorkers to flee…” they miss the mark completely.

This is particularly true of the NYTimes which has underreported the property tax crisis in my estimation. 

Not All taxes are causing the flight to other states; property taxes are the cause…if you don’t count those three billionaire cry babies who claim to have left NYS because they had to pay a teeny bit more of their enormous incomes in state income taxes…and I don’t count them because they’re still around and still trying to roll back their obligation to the state that made them wealthy.


What’s the difference? A tax is a tax, isn’t it?


Property taxes have no predictability and there is no mechanism in place to stop them from consuming 100% of your income. The sky’s the limit and your income doesn’t matter in the calculation of what you must pay in property taxes to keep your home from foreclosure.

Income taxes-even if you think they’re too high- have a limit. You know exactly what percent of your income they will consume…and that rate applies wherever you live in the state -unlike property taxes which differ wildly without  rhyme or reason or relation to income.

When a tax is illegitimate and unreasonable in every way  that  one measures a tax -as the property tax surely is- people lose all respect for government. That’s what has happened in NYS.

Renters as well as homeowners, from New York City to L.I. to Ticonderoga , are fed up with this tax.

Why hasn’t the crisis been resolved?

…there is no rational reason except a dysfunctional state government that has not responded in any meaningful way.

….and though under a court order which applies to one glaring injustice in the property tax-education funding- the state continues to ignore the crisis as if it were not a constitutional issue but just a matter of money.

If it were just money, the issue should have been resolved in the $$$good times. It wasn’t. Apparently no time is a good time for albany to address the calamitous results of the property  tax.

Some counties are trying to shield the most vulnerable seniors by raising exemptions…a noble undertaking which we all applaud. But absent the state funding for this exemption the other taxpayers in that county must make up the difference….where is the state?

 Asleep at the switch as usual.

The resolution lies at Albany’s marble doorstep.

When there are more and more reports of people paying 42% of their earnings and more to keep their homes from foreclosure…when illness in a family almost costs the family home- (because the last installment of the property tax couldn’t be paid until a charity stepped in) things are very horribly askew in NYS.

….which is probably why NYS is dead last on a list of states in a poll on happiness.

Let’s hope the NYTimes and-more importantly the state- gets the message-and soon.

Will homelessness continue to be the state’s gift to its citizens for yet another holiday season?

Note: our Omnibus meeting with the Lt. Gov. was postponed because of illness….I’ll keep you informed when a new meet is scheduled.

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