End the property tax nightmare!

March 22, 2011

Filed under: Updates — gioia @ 7:28 pm


  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb’s weekly blog on March11, entitled: “Extension of ‘Success Tax’ Would Destroy Jobs, Drive Away Even More of  NYS’s Best and Brightest”, appears on the Central New York website

 Most outrageous of all the utter nonsense in this piece is Leader Kolb’s use of the term “Success Tax” to characterize the proposed extension of the “millionaires tax” on taxable incomes actually exceeding $1Million.

(By the way that’s TAXABLE income — not gross income or AGI  which could be much higher.)

Apparently the other 99.6% of us, those who don’t make $1 Million, comprise  “The Unsuccessful” — or, maybe, “The Failures”. 

 That must be why so many of them are being forced from their homes by having to pay unsustainable, double digit percentages of their incomes in property tax — as much as 40% and more — created largely by state taxation and fiscal policies.

 The imagery behind the term “success tax”  is reminiscent of the extreme right wing rhetoric that portrays any effort to restore even the slightest semblance of  progressive tax policy in this state as “redistributing the wealth” of “hard working” New Yorkers.

As if the only people who “work hard” in this state (and nation) are those whose “hard work” has produced major financial reward!

 Thankfully, not everyone defines success solely in terms of one’s income.

Leader Kolb’s unfortunate use of the term “success tax”, along  with the rest of his tiresome rhetoric, is an insult to the millions of “hard working” middle class New Yorkers who in countless ways keep this state running, day in and day out, who contribute enormously to every aspect of our culture, our values and our economy, and who in so doing help create and preserve the conditions which make possible the financial success and well- being of those at the top of the income ladder.

 Leader Kolb’s own middle class constituents are among those hundreds of thousands of “hard working” or retired residents all over our state who are suffering a nearly $1.8 Billion property tax increase just from the state’s continuing failure to replace cuts of that amount in the STAR  program over the past two years with a desperately needed property tax circuit breaker.

  An extension of the “millionaires tax” would among other things enable the state to mitigate the cuts in property tax relief by establishing a meaningful circuit breaker as well as to restore cuts in state aid to schools.

Those measures would benefit primarily the middle class.

 Instead, Leader Kolb wants a tax cut for those with $1 Million incomes — in the midst of the fiscal crisis for which the wealthy were largely responsible but which continues to devastate mainly the middle class.

He should be ashamed of himself.

 John Whiteley
 Legislative Affairs Officer,
 NYS Property Tax Reform Coalition
 Member, Omnibus Consortium

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