TaxNightmare.org End the property tax nightmare!

September 28, 2010

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 7:32 pm

Re “Some in Assembly stay quiet on tax cap,” Sept. 19 article:

 

It was great to see in-depth coverage of the No. 1 problem facing New York State. However, your article leaves the impression that the Assembly members who do not support the tax cap are being unreasonable.

For the sake of clarity, New Yorkers need a detailed explanation of the difference between the cap, which is being used by gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo as a sound bite, and the circuit breaker, which would actually bring relief to middle-income property owners, who have seen their property tax burden double over the last eight years, while incomes have stagnated or been reduced. The Assembly members who do not support the “tax cap” know it would be bad for taxpayers and schools alike, which is why it is not supported by the teachers union.

(A tax cap passed by the Senate would cap annual property tax increases at 4 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower; Democrat Cuomo has touted a tax cap that would limit annual increases to 2 percent. — Editor.)

Based on income

I support the circuit breaker because it is property tax relief based on an individual’s income. It’s the only option that will mean real property tax relief for the individual homeowner. Tax relief will be phased in over four years, a reasonable consideration of the state’s fiscal situation.

My husband and I currently pay 21 percent of our gross income in property taxes. I know people paying almost half their income in property taxes. They use credit cards or dig into retirement funds. About 40 percent of New York state homeowners pay in excess of 10 percent of their income in property taxes. It’s an outrageous, unfair taxation that’s got to end. My husband and I can afford our home and utilities. We can no longer afford to maintain our home.

Exact terms of circuit breaker legislation remain under negotiation. Using an average of all the formulas under consideration, my household’s property taxes would drop to about 8 percent of our income — still high, but relief.

For the sake of clarity, New Yorkers need a detailed explanation of the difference between the cap, which is being used by gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo as a sound bite, and the circuit breaker, which would actually bring relief to middle-income property owners, who have seen their property tax burden double over the last eight years, while incomes have stagnated or been reduced. The Assembly members who do not support the “tax cap” know it would be bad for taxpayers and schools alike, which is why it is not supported by the teachers union.

(A tax cap passed by the Senate would cap annual property tax increases at 4 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower; Democrat Cuomo has touted a tax cap that would limit annual increases to 2 percent. — Editor.)

 

Not an individual cap

 

The “tax cap” is frequently thought to be a “cap” on
individual property taxes. That’s erroneous. It’s a
cap on the tax levy. The tax levy is the amount of
taxes that a school district, for example, needs to
collect from property taxpayers within its district. If
there are fewer taxpayers and/or more tax-exempt
properties from one year to the next, the remaining
taxpayers pick up the slack and pay higher property
taxes.

Last year, a friend in a nearby school district where
the tax levy increased 4 percent district-wide saw his
property taxes increase 14 percent.

With so much focus on the waning fortunes and
prospects of the middle class, it amazes me that our
representatives seem tone-deaf to the urgency of
real property tax reform. Since I bought my home in
1996, my property taxes have more than doubled,
yet my income has stayed the same. Add to this the
losses in my retirement account (which won’t be
guaranteed by the taxpayers, since I work in the
private sector) and increases in health-care costs,
this has a real effect on the amount of money I can
spend on goods and services.

Retirees and others on fixed incomes have lost
savings in the crisis, and now can’t earn enough
interest to make up for it without taking on too

 

To learn more about the circuit breaker and the benefit you will derive from it go to http://www.omnibustaxsolution.org/

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