End the property tax nightmare!

April 28, 2009

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 10:31 pm


We (Omnibus Consortium) spoke with several Senators and/or legislative staff today.

It’s not that all of the legislators don’t get it. A few do get it.

The problem is many haven’t caught our sense of urgency….all the while claiming to feel our pain.

We shouldn’t have to be in any doubt about major property tax relief at this point in time.

But we are still in doubt….and that’s NOT okay.

People are losing their shelter as we speak. In Ulster the number of tax delinquency foreclosures have doubled….and the foreclosed homes aren’t selling; so the county can’t recoup the money it shelled out to the school districts to make up the losses because the county can’t sell all the properties it seized.

Ulster is not unique. All counties are stressed.

Which means you’ll have to pay those delinquent taxes with your county property taxes. Didn’t know that did you?

Is your head splitting yet??

We told the senators and/or their staff, “Real, substantial property tax relief must be on the way by the end of this legislative session.”

John Whiteley (Omnibus Consortium &NYS PTR Coalition) stressed that people can’t sell their homes even if they wanted to and they can’t afford to stay in them because of property taxes. Hellish! Nowhere to turn!

We spoke with some Senators who are completely on board with the legislation the Omnibus Consortium is supporting, Liz Krueger’s bill S4239…notable among them smart and straightforward Neil Breslin, Assistant Majority Leader.

He gets it.

I have hopes for Sen. Foley, Sen. Thompson, and Sen. Valesky with whom we had appointments today.

Sen. Thompson who took the meet himself-always a good sign- wanted reassurance that his constituents in Buffalo would be served by the Krueger bill. That means he’s on the job.

We assured him that Sen. Krueger’s bill included ALL property taxes not just school taxes. That’s especially important in cities. When we break out the numbers for him I know he’ll see the light.

Breaking news has Senator Bonacic-my senator- in support of S4239…hands across the aisle. Good for John!

There are others who are supporting another circuit breaker, Sen. Klein’s bill. We applaud their let’s get together.

The senators Krueger and Klein are currently “talking”.

…and mind you the legislators we spoke with are at least very aware of the crisis….some legislators are still blandly saying we can’t afford property tax relief or others are in hiding on the issue hoping it will pass them by…not a chance guys.

Like Madame DeFarge I am keeping a list….a list which will be published when our bill is either enacted or when the session ends in disaster with no major tax relief. Either way you’ll know who your friends are….or aren’t.

It is exhausting to sit and talk with legislators when outside the Albany walls people are devastated by tax nightmares and have lost hope. 

We try to get that sense of urgency across every time we meet with a legislator.

I will tell you which Senators signed on to S4239 in a subsequent column.

The best part of today was confirmation that YOU had been writing and calling Senators asking for support for S4239. They told us they’re getting the messages!

Now please write and/or call Sheldon Silver, the Assembly Speaker. Tell him to sponsor a circuit breaker bill in the Assembly that has a substantial payback for taxpayers who paid exorbitant property taxes…something like S4239.

You’re doing good work guys… it’s off to bed…and hoping to dream good dreams and not TAXNIGHTMARES………


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