End the property tax nightmare!

March 22, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 1:35 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 1:31 pm



We are working the senate to up the payout on their bill so it more nearly approximates the Omnibus bill…..they have used our approach to address the property tax catastrophe…that’s good! …but so far they won’t spring for the necessary…the ready…the greenbacks..

We have no quarrel with their first steps …just the fact they haven’t taken advantage YET of the pile of money ( 16 billion) wasting away in the stock transfer tax … or being rebated to people who didn’t even know they paid it in the first place…or to their agents who forgot to charge it or “FORGOT” to give it back  to the buyers of stock who paid it in first place in increments of pennies….(stay with me here or email me and I’ll explain it)


could not only finance major property tax reform but pull the whole state out of debt!


You find that hard to believe?

….would you have believed this year in Albany?

…the coup? The court cases? The open zippers? The punch -ups and cover-ups and screw –ups?

Come on kids!!

There is a stock transfer tax waiting to be used to save us all….and it’s the eleventh hour…

Waiting, negotiating, prodding…we’re working it…Keep tuned.

(…and NO…there is nothing worth talking about in the latest letter from the executive office. I only deal in reality.)

March 18, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:56 pm



Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:54 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:52 pm



Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:50 pm


                 OMNIBUS CONSORTIUM



Press Release


For Immediate Release                                                         

March 18, 2010



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

Gioia Shebar, Tax (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



Omnibus Consortium on Senate Property Tax Proposal

Supports Stronger Circuit Breaker – Says No to Caps


(Albany, N.Y.) – While the State Senate passed a bill to provide property tax relief, the Omnibus Consortium — a statewide coalition of property tax reform groups, fiscal watchdogs, education advocates and unions — continues to urge members of both chambers to focus attention on the Consortium’s middle income circuit breaker/property tax reform legislation to provide urgently needed property tax relief instead of the bill they passed today. The Consortium’s circuit breaker was introduced in both houses last session as S4239 (Liz Krueger), and A8702 (Steve Englebright). Both bills had strong bi-partisan support.

While Consortium members applaud the Senate’s recognition that a circuit breaker is the fairest, most meaningful, and most cost-effective way to provide property tax relief, and while this specific proposal has many positive features, it regrettably sets the refundable credit too low (30%) which renders it impractical and largely unresponsive to an accelerating crisis which is literally forcing people from their homes. We also thank the Senate Majority for resisting calls to reinstate all STAR Rebate checks which we believe were a poor excuse for property tax relief to begin with.

“We thank Senator Klein and the Senate Majority for having the political will to tackle this long standing problem,” stated Ron Deutsch of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.  “We appreciate their efforts but feel that the circuit breaker they are proposing does not provide residents with enough relief to address the problem that too many New Yorkers are simply paying far too much of their income in property taxes.”   

John Whiteley of the New York State Property Tax Reform Coalition commented:  “The circuit breaker proposed in this bill includes many of the important features we have advocated, and we commend the Senate for that. However, the proposed 30% tax credit is glaringly inadequate given the crisis faced by our most overburdened homeowners and undermines the circuit breaker goal of targeted relief.  A simple amendment that would replace the 30% credit with the 70% tax credit proposed by our Consortium would produce a circuit breaker that we could support.”

“Property tax relief and reform is the number one issue facing my constituents in Ulster County. The Omnibus Property Tax Reform and Relief Bill provides comprehensive meaningful relief and reform by dealing with the underlying problems with the current State and Local tax relationship,” said Susan Zimet, Ulster County Legislator.

Gioia Shebar of said that, “By adopting many of the features of the Omnibus Consortiums circuit breaker, which is supported by tax reformers across the state, the Senate has shown it is attempting to address the ruinous property tax. Sadly, unlike the Omnibus Solution, the Senate bill delivers too little relief and no real reform of the property tax system whatsoever.”


“The only type of cap that limits the amount an individual homeowner has to pay is a

circuit breaker – and while the Senate Majority has championed this cause, the amount of

relief in this bill will cause it to be ineffective in solving the crisis.  To ask New Yorkers to continue to pay 70% of the amount that is excessive means that many will still shell out 20 or 25 percent of their income and lose their homes,” stated Robert McKeon from TREND.  


A one size fits all cap applied to all school districts, whether their spending is well above average or well below average, simply makes no sense at a time when the Governor is proposing drastic cuts to school aid,” said Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.


Omnibus Consortium Members

Susan Zimet, Ulster County Legislator- Chair Ulster County Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding and Tax Reform (Ulster BRC) and Property Tax Agenda

Rich Gerentine, Ulster County Legislator, Ulster BRC

John Whiteley, Tri-County Committee for Property Tax Relief, NYS Property Tax Reform Coalition

Roberta Whiteley, Tri County Committee for Property Tax Relief, NYS Property Tax Reform Coalition

Robert McKeon-TREND (Tax Reform Effort of Northern Dutchess County), Tax Reform Coordinator

Bernetta Calderone- Taxnightmare Coordinating Committee- Women’s Issues Leader for Corrections Dept., Ulster BRC

Tara O’Connor-Alisse, Coordinating Committee -Ulster BRC

Sam Davis, Putnam Reform Group

Gioia Shebar- Coordinator,, Ulster BRC

Bill Hecht- Cayuga County Property Tax Reform Coordinator

Frank Mauro, Fiscal Policy Institute

Ron Deutsch, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness

Melinda Person, NYSUT

Billy Easton, Alliance for Quality Education

Ellie and Bill Trumpbour, N.Y.S. Farm Bureau

Victor Bach, Community Service Society


Ron Deutsch
New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness
212 Great Oaks Blvd
Albany, NY 12203
518-869-8649 (fax)
518-469-6769 (cell)




Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:39 pm

..AND AS FOR THE CAP PART OF THE senate BILL An analysis FROM Carole Kraus, tax reform leader…

Dear Governor Paterson:

What will a property tax levy cap do for those of us paying 20-50% of
our income in property taxes?

Sadly, nothing helpful.

We’re already losing our homes and neighbors, along with the viability of supporting local businesses.

Further, a school tax levy cap can and will be handily over-voted in communities.  A mere 7-14% of voters turn out for school budget votes, comprised almost entirely of parents and school district employees.
The rest of voters gave up years ago when invariably a contingency budget would be voted in, often amounting to an even larger school

Thanks for trying, but there’s an effective, more fiscally
responsible alternative called the circuit breaker, S4239A and A8702.

Wish you could support it.

Carole Kraus



March 16, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:28 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 8:24 pm


You know-of course-our bill in the Senate is S4239A. It is excellent. Bills have many parts and stipulations in them that –when put together- make a good or excellent-( or really messy and confusing) bill.

Our property tax relief bill is CLEAN and has-unlike any other bill- a reform section…as well as a circuit breaker for relief.

The circuit breaker stipulates what  percentage of the entire property tax load a person has to pay (depending on income)  before a personal “limit” is put into place. After that individual “limit” has been reached, 70% of the overage is credited-sent back like any over payment of a  tax . has the entire explanation and the income numbers.

The bill I’m keeping an eye on right this minute is also a Senate bill and it does include some of the features we (Frank Mauro) created and  we (Omnibus Consortium reformers) popularized-important features-.

The new bill has a circuit breaker. Very Good start.

It does not have a reform portion- A BIG mistake because property taxes need to be overhauled in their entirety not just reduced.

Our Omnibus Bill has a reform portion.

…and though the other bill has incorporated many of our bill’s excellent features it is TOO, TOO complicated and confused.

Combine that with scanty  relief and I’d recommend more work before it leaves home….for example the other bill (not ours) would give back  a scant 30% rather than 70% (over the individual limit) which really defeats the entire purpose of setting a limit on how much of a household’s income can be consumed by property taxes.

It addition it attempts to haul into one relief bill at least three other ideas-some are controversial– which weigh it down- and will impede any action.

The costs are murky-and seem to have a high price tag for MUCH less real relief…

 Our S4239A bill-on the other hand-  is universally acceptable- and sensible – yet more generous and fair  to middle class homeowners and renters… ……thanks to the work of reformers, the other bill also includes renters…as ours of course does. That’s progress.

But please understand-as long as the state feels it has SO MUCH money it can rebate 16 billion to Wall St. (collected in pennies from many billions of “buys” from a stock  transfer tax) then let’s assume it has plenty left to pay for a decent circuit breaker. The Omnibus Bills..S4239a and S8702…

If Albany doesn’t have plenty left, then DON’T REBATE..instead  DEDICATE the 16 billion to saving the state and getting property taxes off our backs.

To the sponsors of the other bill-some of whom have also sponsored Omnibus…Let’s Talk!

We all want to help people stay in their homes.


March 15, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 1:33 pm


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