End the property tax nightmare!

September 30, 2011

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:48 am


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:45 am

Disclaimer from

       We want to inform those who have asked if is participating in the Oct. 3rd Conference at SUNY (the one supposedly to help people cope with the tax levy cap and for which there is a $60 entrance fee), we are definitely NOT participants.

WE do however admire the conference title “The Tax Cap Challenge” …sort of like the “how to live with boils on your bottom challenge.” No thanks we have enough challenges already such as :

The “unfunded state mandates” challenge

The “living with ruinous property tax” challenge

The “just lost my job” challenge

1) We do not support the cap and -as we are progressive tax reform advocates- we could never in any way be affiliated with Patterns for Progress which is hosting the conference…and is not… a progressive anything.

2) Those of us who worked hard to bring REAL property tax relief proposals to the attention of the Suozzi (he will be a speaker on Oct.3rd) Blue Ribbon Commission (which turned out to be just a front for cap pushers and not a property tax relief commission at all) wouldn’t want any part of this conference. As you know from this blog and your own experience the property tax situation has just gotten WORSE since the Suozzi commission report came out.

3) Participants –local officials- will have to pay a fee to attend the event on Oct.3rd and hear how to live with the tax levy cap. They foisted the cap on us and are now going to explain-for a fee– how it works?! Uncharacteristically for me, WORDS FAIL…

4) We -bona fide tax reformers do not solicit money to help educate officials or taxpayers on the issue of property tax reform. Our activities are pro bono. We would never charge money for giving information that will help our communities.

5) Moreover we do not think local officials should learn to “cope” with the cap. They should be fighting it and demanding real property tax & mandate relief and reform for beleaguered property taxpayers.

6) All the major grass roots tax reform groups are demanding a millionaires’ tax to fund property tax relief and reform, not suggesting that people simply learn to cope with fewer and fewer services and higher and higher property taxes…the real collateral damages brought about by the cap.

It is possible that in a stunning reversal the speakers at the conference at SUNY will announce that they are now going to fight to immediately get rid of all the unfunded mandates killing local government and that they are going to fight for a circuit breaker to cut back property taxes immediately and that they are going to fight to reform the whole chaotic tax system that benefits the mega rich at the expense of the middle class.

After all they got the cap really fast (which will cost people jobs) and cut state aid really fast (so property taxes went up a lot)…so if they plan to announce they will FIGHT for some real property tax relief and tax reform really fast…I’ll be happy to apologize..

7) We will be holding a REAL property tax reform conference at Mohonk later in the month. Pro bono.

The operative word here –in case you didn’t notice is REAL.


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:35 am


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:32 am


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 12:20 am

I have a bone to pick with teachers…

No, no you silly bagger (not a misspelling…I know how to spell bugger)… the bone is not for their meager earnings or hard won perks…anyone who blames our current “troubles” on a teacher making 45,000 per annum but will fight for the right of a guy making 12,000,000 p.a. to avoid paying taxes is too dumb to bother about—or is a politician…AND THAT’S WHAT I BLAME TEACHERS FOR…

Somewhere back in the day of every pol was a teacher who loved him/her…a teacher who-upon discovering that Junior could read the equivalent of “See Spot Run..” and never, ever wet his pants during recess- told the child’s equally fond parents that Junior/Junioress was both gifted and talented and could one day be president…and that was the end of sensible political discourse in this nation.

Every politician-(and MANY of the kids who received this encomium became politicians rather than learn some useful trade)- wants to be president. Every governor and legislator does only what will advance their political fortunes…and that is the hook upon which those of us lobbying for tax reform have to hang our arguments for reform.

When we go to Albany to work on tax reform e.g. the millionaire’s tax and property tax reform, we are acutely aware that our plan for relief and reform for property taxpayers is a necessity if the middle class is to survive; but that fact alone doesn’t cut it with the pols and won’t convince them to act.

We have to make the case that the pol who accomplishes this feat is headed for the oval office (or at least re-election).

This is credible given our property tax reform agenda …because it is actually true that property taxes are becoming a scourge nationwide; NYS is just the worst offender in shifting its responsibilities from the state coffers onto already insane property taxes.

Resolve this issue and you have a great plank on which to run for prez.

 The tax levy cap was a feeble attempt to dupe the voters and is already showing its seamy underbelly…the cap is going to raise your taxes and reduce services!

…and most people have already caught the stench of snake oil. (google Meghan Murphy’s splendid column in the Times Herald-Record 9/28)

So back we go to Albany with the message …”raise millionaires’ taxes to pay for property tax reform”…it’s popular, Gov. (et al)…and Mrs. Applebee (4th grade teacher of “gifted and talented” class) would be so proud.

September 26, 2011

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 3:01 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:59 pm


Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:57 pm

Why property tax reformers lose sleep and wake up screaming…

Think on this stuff for awhile….

Don’t you wish these were your tax rates?

2.4% Tax rate for Google
2.0% Carnival Cruises
1.0% Goldman 
0.4% Blackstone Group
0.0% JPM on $12 Billion Income (REFUND $1.4Billio­n)
0.0% Exxon
0.0% BofA
0.0% Wells Fargo
0.0% AT&T
0.0% GE_
0.0% Phi11ip Morris


The state has “saved” itself a hundred and thirty million give or take a few…how cool is that?

Not cool at all.

The “savings” are the result of limiting STAR so property taxpayers who are desperate for relief get to pay MORE…. So “we the people” are actually picking up the tab for “them -the politicians” who now have millions more to waste or to gift their friends… after all the “state” –when name dropped by state government -means the pols not the people.

This is a direct quote from the (waste of space) educ. Dept. directive on rating teachers…(thanks to the NYTimes)

Title:“ New Templates Clarifying Scoring and Metrics”…and this was the clarification..”The percent of range is the share of the comparison range covered by the school’s result, used to determine the share of points to be earned.”

Thank whatever gods may be that these jerk bureaucrats (who get a LOT of money from the public coffers) do NOT come within ten feet of our children. Having created “metrics” to “rate” teachers- BWAAAA… – they then go back to a—kissing the testing companies hoping for crumbs from the billion dollar testing table. This COSTLY educ. bureaucracy makes the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party look positively sensible.

Do not ask what your property taxes pay for…they pay for “metrics…templates…and point scoring parameters” … and other such bullshit (let’s call a spade a spade…) and they pay to have these dopes fire teachers and hire more test writers.


September 25, 2011

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:58 pm

It’s a mad, mad world…

Just  a few weeks ago a seat vacated by a Dem who showed off his crotch on the net was won by a Rep who was perceived by religious folks as being more invested in protecting Israel and punishing gays than was the Dem candidate who had a very amateurish comb-over that was surely the REAL cause of his defeat. It was said to reflect on Obama’s chances. Given Obama never showed his crotch anywhere in public and doesn’t have a comb-over it’s hard to see the connection.

A presidential candidate’s aide apologized for her use of the word “retarded” -which utterance was surely an example of self-hatred given the thimble sized brain of the candidate in question.

A major story was a TV argument about how we should have done away with enemy #1, Bin Laden, (killed before or after a trial) by people who weren’t there and certainly would have been in the way had they been there.

A big handsome but running to seed cowboy manqué swore on the bible he always has on the ready, that even though his state was in flames because of a singularly rare and extensive  drought, there was no evidence of global warning and we should elect him president  (president of which now defunct country formerly a part of the now defunct USSR??).

…and at a tea bag sponsored debate of the Rep candidates for prez the audience clapped and cheered wildly and gleefully at the concept that sick folks without insurance should be left to die…classy folks these tea baggers.

So yes, we have lost a lot of skin in the quest for civilized behavior since our exceptionally civilized founders thought a republic could work-even given the proclivity of our species towards murder, mayhem, and electing reptile brained state legislators.

However-as long as those of us who get steamed at dumbed down and greedy government persist in our quest for equity we should survive.

Now about that property tax problem…


September 21, 2011

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 2:14 pm


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