Thursday, October 06, 2005

If You Can't Tax 'Em, Float A Bond!

Murray Tax "Freeze" Thaws Quickly As $113 Million "Bond Initiative" Is Proposed

When is a tax increase not a tax increase? Why, when it is foisted upon the taxpayer, both present and future, as a Bond Initiative. The State does it. Public Authorities do it. School and Library Districts do it all the time. And now, the Town of Hempstead is about to get in on the act. "Kate Murray promised you no increase in the taxes she controls, but she didn't say anything about not issuing a Bond - backed by the full faith and credit of, guess who? Town of Hempstead taxpayers!"

Kate Murray has released her 2006 Proposed Budget for the Town of Hempstead (which may be viewed online at http://www.toh.li/content/tb/budget.html), and no sooner do we hold it within earshot, we hear the Supervisor tell us:

“Under my proposed budget, residents will also be the beneficiaries of a major bond initiative which will provide for numerous road improvements, infrastructure enhancements and upgrades to town facilities.” (Tentative Town of Hempstead Budget, 2006)

Yes, to paraphrase Town Councilman Anthony Santino, "You will be taxed, and you will enjoy it!"

Geez, Kate. The ink on the proposed 2006 Budget is hardly dry, and already that pledge to "hold the line" is ringing rather hollow. Sure, we expected the tax increases in areas of the Town where you profess to have no control (i.e., the Town Sanitary Districts), and we await the drop of that anvil with baited breath, but a $113 million Bond issue to repair our roads? For what, dare we ask, did you use all those other hundreds of millions of dollars taxpayers poured into the Town Highway coffers over the years? Millions for patronage. Not one red cent for pothole repair!

We all read your lips, Kate. "No New Taxes." No, just the same old taxes, with higher rates. And a whole new way to empty the pockets of TOH residents - float a $113 million dollar Bond.

"Kate Murray is trying to pull the wool over taxpayers eyes by sneaking in a back door tax increase under the taxpayers radar," said Harvey Levinson, the man who would have Kate Murray's job come January '06, when the proposed Budget, if approved by the Town Board, would go into effect. "Who's ultimately going to pay for this additional bonding? Taxpayers! Kate Murray promised a tax freeze, and now she’s asking taxpayers to front a Bond issue of more than 100 million dollars.”

Ah, a tax by any other name would cut as deeply. Float a Bond. So now residents will not only have to pay back the principal, but future generations will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay off the interest.

“I am proud to be proposing an all-new $113 million bond initiative...," said Murray in the proposed Budget. "Our township remains vital, attractive and desirable because we have maintained and rebuilt our township while demonstrating the utmost respect for taxpayers.” (Tentative Town of Hempstead Budget, 2006)

"Proud to be" adding to our already horrendous tax burden? You bet! "Maintained and rebuilt our township?" What township is this? In the Town of Hempstead, the infrastructure is crumbling almost as fast as the roads are collapsing, and the "fix" is to patch it all up with haphazard development and irresponsible zoning.

Our Tax Statements have a separate line (read as "additional tax") for Town Highway Repair and Improvement. The amount of the levy on that line in 2005 alone was over $51 million dollars. [For 2006, the proposed Budget line for Highway/Roads is in excess of $58 million. So much for "holding the line!"] Have you seen any repair or improvement on the roads of Hempstead Town? And now, Supervisor Murray has the nerve to call for a $113 million dollar Bond initiative, the real cost of which shall likely exceed $175 million! That, Ms. Murray, does not demonstrate "the utmost respect for taxpayers."

Folks, if it walks like a tax, talks like a tax, and bleeds our bank accounts dry like a tax, guess what? It is a tax! Call it a Bond, and continue the tradition of "why pay for what we can't afford today, when we can place the debt on the back of tomorrow's taxpayers?"

In presenting her proposed 2006 Budget, Kate Murray fails to cut a single patronage position, yet writes, “government needs to tighten its belt just as families have.”

“The truth is that Kate’s asking other families to further tighten their belts so her own family and political cronies don’t have to," quipped Harvey Levinson. "It’s not fair to overtax Hempstead families so that she can keep the Republican Party political bosses happy.”

No, Harvey, its not fair to any of Hempstead Town's families - be they Republicans, Democrats or Independents - unless, of course, they happen to be on payroll.

We wonder what those nice folks from the Kate Murray TV spot (the seniors at the kitchen table rolling their coins, and their eyes) would have to say about the Town of Hempstead's Bond Initiative. "Look who's floating a Bond and raising our taxes -- again. Kate Murray, Town Supervisor."
- - -
A hearing on the 2006 proposed Budget will take place before the Town Board at a Public Meeting on Thursday, October 20 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Town Hall Plaza in the Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavillion. Town Hall is located at 1 Washington Street in Hempstead.

19 comments:

  1. The Town of Hempstead certainly hasn't been using any of the tax money it collected under "Highway Repair & Improvement" in Franklin Square, Elmont or West Hempstead, that's for sure.

    I was coming down Cherry Valley Avenue (home to Sanitary District 6) from Garden City the other day. No sooner did I pass the WEST HEMPSTEAD sign, the road turned from smooth asphalt (thank you, Village of Garden City Department of Public Works) to something akin to the surface of the moon (thank you, Town of Hempstead Highway Department).

    The residential streets aren't much better. Some are down to paydirt, and the most we get in terms of repair is the spit and stomp of cold patch!

    Why do we have to raise a Bond for "repairs and improvements" already budgeted -- and for which we've been paying through the nose for years?

    Maybe its time for the Murray clan to tighten their belts, retiring father, daughter and brothers from the municipal payroll. Then, we can fix the roads!

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  2. These bond issues are the same thing that got Nassau County into trouble during the Gulotta years. He never raised taxes either, just float a bond to cover expenses. We can see how well that worked out. So now Supervisor Murray is taking us down the same road.

    Councilman Santino has ads running in all the local papers touting how he and Supervisor Murray have not raised taxes for 7 years. Just how many of those years did they employ this same measure? Now rumors are flying about how he is living outside of his election district.

    Everyone got their school tax bills yesterday, many of my neighbors are talking about selling. They say they can manage 1 or 2 years but could never afford to live here longer than that. Is there an answer out there?

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  3. We can't bear any more of a tax burden in Hempstead Town. We have to end the madness!

    School taxes up 8% or more every year, and our elected officials (save for one) mum and mute on property tax relief.

    Sanitary Districts, Fire Districts (its not "volunteer" when we pay a tax and the "volunteer" is exempt), Water Districts, and countless political fiefdoms eating away mercilessly at our money.

    Now the Town of Hempstead wants us to carry a bond to pay for "improvements" we already pay for and paid for? Where does it end?

    My son just graduated dental school, with loans up the whazoo. He's living at home in his old bedroom, starting to earn some income, but barely a "living" here on Long Island. He's looking into being licensed and setting up a practice in another state because, as he tells me regularly, "Dad,I can't afford to live here. There's no housing I can afford, and even if I could buy a house on the Island, the taxes would bankrupt me!"

    Is this what we want? Our children moving away because there is no affordable housing and the taxes eat you out of that house and home?

    Let me tell you, if my kids move away, so will I. My neighbors say the same thing. Taxes. Taxes. Taxes. For what?

    Keep your garbage collection and your road improvements. Keep adding to our tax burden. Keep going down the same road paved with bonds and referendum. Before too long, the only ones on those roads will be the employees of the Sanitary Districts, and the friends and family of the Town Supervisor.

    Doesn't anyone get it? We're being duped and played for fools. I don't understand why we are so unwilling to do anything other than to complain.

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  4. What is it they say about the road to Hell? Don't look for best of intentions here -- its all for one at Town Hall.

    Where does the money go? Please, give us all a break. We know where that tax money goes -- and its not to repave the streets or to "enhance" the Town's facilities!

    Thank you for your kind offer, Kate, but I don't want to be a "beneficiary" of your "major bond initiative." I'd much rather be able to feed my family, pay my mortgage, and put clothes on my children's backs.

    Too bad Town of Hempstead taxpayers don't get to vote on your bond proposal. Only the Town Board gets to rubber stamp Kate's borrow and spend plan (sounds vaguely like that old County Board of Supervisors, doesn't it?).

    How foolish we would be if, on election day, we didn't make "out with the old" at Hempstead Town Hall. Maybe Mondello can still wrangle jobs for Kate and the Committeemen at OTB.

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  5. Don't worry. Greg Peterson will bring back the Board of Supervisors as part of his "back to the good old days" program.

    Then Kate can vote on Greg's budget, and we can join Greg as he paints the courthouse walls.

    It is unbelievable that we would have to give a second thought about who we're going to vote for in November. Greg Peterson? Sure, if you suffer from long-term memory loss. Kate Murray? Only if you and yours are on the payroll.
    ---
    By the by, I cannot fathom why you favor Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino with so much praise. I guess you didn't know that before he was APPOINTED as Councilman (to replace the retiring Joe Kearney), he was a sitting Commissioner at Sanitary District 6. So much for "no control" of the Sanitary Districts by the Town of Hempstead. The names may change, but the loyalty to the machine remain the same!

    "Kate Murray Cares?" Yeah, right!

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  6. If Ms. Murray had any political courage at all and was serious about reducing the spending by the TOH government, she could simply say "This year, I am cutting our budget by 20%. By reducing our budget, we will be able to pass on those cost reductions to the taxpayers and lower the tax burden for everyone in the TOH. I am ordering the department heads within the TOH to develop a plan over the next 60 days to identify ways we can reduce waste and inefficiency in the TOH government. We have a financial obligation to the citizens of the TOH to run a government as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. I believe that achieving this 20% reduction is possible because I know that we are not operating optimally."

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  7. Kate Murray trim the fat at Town Hall? Dream on!

    The only "downsizing" at Town Hall comes through attrition. Even then, the partisans are placed under different lines, so it only looks like the Town is reducing the workforce. [Have no fear, GOP faithful. If we can't put you on payroll here at Town Hall, we'll find a paying no-show job for you at one of the Special Districts over which we have no control!]

    Please, you folks don't know the half of it. This place is a sewer - a sewer surrounded by a hundred sewer district workers, under the direction of twenty-five sewer supervisors, under the less-than-watchful eye of a half dozen sewer commissioners.

    You hold in your hands the ability to fire them all with a single pull of the lever. The question is, do you have the will do do it?

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  8. Ha, ha, ha. I'm sitting here at Town Hall right in the thick of things, laughing at them, not with them, as they laugh at you!

    Kate Murray churns out the newsletters faster than Land-O-Lakes churns butter, but with no less fat in this year's budget than there was the year before.

    "She who must be obeyed" gets the call from party HQ, and word goes out down the line to every GOP drone to do the Chairman's bidding. Its a joke -- and its on YOU!

    Kate will be back. Mark my word. The faithful will dutifully come out to the polls (just as they did to the Franklin Square library), staring straight ahead at Row 'A', pulling every lever under the word "Republican." Not because of ideology or belief in what the party stands for (that has nothing to do with the mindset of the local GOP), but simply because that is what they are told to do.

    Remember, there are 25,000 more registered Republicans in Hempstead Town than there are Democrats. How many of them will get the call and obey?

    Creatures of habit? More like the sea of extras in a bad "Night of the Living Dead" movie.

    Peterson doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell. Even the GOP insiders will concede that, at least privately. Lose Town Hall? Not on Kate Murray's watch. Not as long as we can keep on borrowing against tomorrow!

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  9. "Kate and the Committeemen?" Sounds like a 60s one-hit wonder. Maybe they could get The Singing Santinos as a back-up group and take their act on the road!

    Reading these comments is beginning to depress us.

    What say we establish a shadow government and secede from the township. We can call ourselves, "NOT THE TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD," or, in deference to our distinguished Co-Chair, "WEST TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD!"

    Do not despair, good citizens. As Thomas Jefferson said in the founding years of our great nation, "A little revolution every once in a while is a good thing!"

    Of course, Jefferson was also quoted as saying, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

    "sick in sanitary 6" has it right when he says that the power is in YOUR hands. Of course, of what use, and toward what end, is power, unless you choose to exercise it, and to do so with courage and wisdom?

    Tuesday, November 8th, is Election Day!

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  10. Couple of questions I would like answers to instead of the same old comments and complaints about my posts.

    1) Harvey Levinson made some remarks about Kate Murray and the TOH budget right? Where was he at the time?

    Sitting at his desk in the assesors office? probably

    Doing nothing as usual to help out the taxpayers with their assesments, instead he's on the campaign trail instead of doing his job!!!!

    How about all of the assesment appeals, there back logged and if you file an appeal it won't be finalized for 18 MONTHS!!!

    That's right so if you filed an appeal for 2005 you won't get an answer until 2007 and of course then you'll be appealing your 2006 assesment that won't be heard until 2009!!!!!

    It's ridiculous and you know whats even more ridiculous is that Harvey Levinson may or may not be there !!!!

    He hasn't fixed that problem and he won't fix the TOH problems either!!!

    2) If Harvey Levinson wins as TOH Supervisor ( HAHAHAHAHA ) do you think he'll be able to clean up the mess without raising taxes?

    Will he reduce the TOH budget by 20%?

    Will he significantly do anything to improve the taxpayers way of life?

    OR

    Will he simply do nothing except complain and blame everything on the past TOH Supervisor and the Republican Party???

    I think this is the correct answer folks

    And by the way nobody is really that stupid because if anyone with half a brain looks at the postings on this blog, the times are just a little too close together 5-10mins apart???

    Wonder who is the man behind the curtain in this blog spot????

    Could it be the The Community Alliance, Could it be the Democratic Party, no it couldn't be them because we all know how just and fair they all are!!!

    They want to hear both sides of the story not just what they WANT everyone to believe????

    And of course let's not forget what a wonderful job the Democratic leaders have done for us in Nassau County held the line in taxes for the past how many years???

    Of Course you can hold the line when you increase taxes by what 22% your first years in office!!!

    And yes TOM GULOTTA crippled this county and TOM SOUZZI saved us !!!!

    YOU KNOW WHAT TOM SOUZZI AND HARVEY LEVINSON BETTER DUST OFF THEIR RESUMES BECAUSE COME NOVEMBER 8TH THEY'LL BE NEEDING NEW JOBS!!!!!

    BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WILL BE TAKING OVER BABY!!!!

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  11. Another village -- or is it Town -- idiot heard from!

    To ncres4change: Sorry that some of the comments are posted in close proximity to one another. Could it be that most of us receive the e-mail for the blog at around the same time, and post our comments right after we read the blog? Well duh! I'm sure that thought never occurred to you.

    As for those who post comments being tools of the Democratic Party, while I can't speak for anyone else, I'm a lifelong Republican, and a former Nassau County employee. [Sad to say, I was a part of that Gulotta administration, and being misled like everyone else, I, too, never saw it coming.]

    I'd love to vote Republican, as the party's ideals best reflect my own. But look at what they give us as candidates for Town and County offices. What do they represent? Certainly not less taxes, smaller government, and conservative spending. Just the opposite.

    Given the opportunity, the local GOP adopts a "borrow, spend and tax" mentality -- increasing the Town's (and our personal) debt load.

    The local GOP has grown government, reaching far beyond Town Hall through a panoply of special districts through which the Town taxes residents and doles out high-paying patronage jobs to party regulars.

    Budgets are bloated with more pork than Boar's Head has provisions, and we are asked to believe the Supervisor and her lackies when they disingenuously promote themselves and all they "do" for us.

    Frankly, this doesn't seem like the Republican Party I consider myself aligned with. In fact, aren't these the very evils we attribute to the Democrats?

    I don't know where Harvey Levinson was when he issued his press release, anymore than I know where Kate Murray is every time she mails out one of her Town reports. Maybe neither are at the posts to which they were elected. Like you said in a prior post, this is campaign season. What do you expect?

    I do know that we can't keep going the way we are headed in the Town of Hempstead. Any way you look at it - taxes, illegal apartments, special districts, taxes - there's a dead end down the road.

    This is one Republican who is not ashamed to say that, this time around, I'm going to swallow my pride and vote for Democrats (although probably not on the Democratic line. I can only bring myself to go so far! :-)

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  12. Swallow you will indeed!!!

    Not from the Village or Town either thank you very much.

    You really haven't even answered the question at all?

    What will Harvey Levinson do about any of your concerns?

    Taxes, illegal apartments, & Special districts
    what is HE going to do ????


    IS HE GOING TO LOWER TAXES???

    IS HE GOING TO GET RID OF THE ILLEGAL APARTMENTS? THATS RIGHT HE'S ALREADY SAID HE'S GOING TO HIRE 20 NEW BUILDING INSPECTORS LESSENING THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT

    SPECIAL DISTRICTS? WHAT CONTROL IF ANY DOES THE TOH HAVE OVER THEM BESIDES THEIR NAME BEING ON THE SIDES OF THE TRUCKS AND BUILDINGS??? THEY ARE RUN BY THEIR OWN BOARDS AND COMMISIONERS!!!

    WHY DON'T WE JUST GIVE HIM THE JOB AND TOM SOUZZI WHILE WE'RE AT IT.....

    THEN THE 2 OF THEM CAN SELL THE REST OF NASSAU COUNTY LIKE THEY DID WITH THE NASSAU COLISEUM!!!!

    THEN THEY CAN BUILD UP ALL OF THE LOWER MIDDLE AND UPPER CLASS HOUSING IN THE AREA AND PUT UP A MONORAIL LIKE F**KING DISNEY LAND BECAUSE THATS WHAT THEY WANT WITH THIS STUPID HUB PROJECT!!!!

    THEY'RE BOTH A**HOLES AND I WOULD RATHER SOON SLIDE DOWN A GIANT RAZOR BLADE NAKED AND THEN POUR LEMON JUICE ALL OVER MYSELF THEN VOTE FOR EITHER ONE OF THEM!!!

    THE ANSWER IS NOT BY CHANGING THE PLAYERS BUT BY CHANGING THE WAY THE GAME IS PLAYED!!!!

    SIMPLY THAT VOICE YOUR OPINIONS AND DISLIKES TO THOSE IN OFFICE DON'T THINK THAT EITHER ONE OF THESE 2 CAN CERTAINLY MAKE ANYTHING BETTER FOR THE TAXPAYERS!!!


    SO GO SWALLOW THAT AND SEE HOW YOU FEEL !!!

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  13. Harvey has already done more to rid illegal apartments than all the years the town should have done their job. Did you ever think the reason behind the failed enforcement by the town was too many of their friends owned illegal homes. As far as the roads, this was the first year I was able to plant a garden right in the middle of my street for there are more cracks than asphalt.I now drive on roads that are worst than Queens. I am also a Republican who will be voting against years of lies and voting to balance the TOH with more democrats. One party rule at TOH needs to end now we can't afford to pay for this family affair

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  14. What has he DONE????

    Tell me what has he done to rid us of illegal housing????

    He has not DONE a DAMN thing!!!!

    Go ahead vote Democrat just plan on one thing - LOSING!!!!!

    You can vote Democrat all you want vote for Souzzi & Levinson good just remember you heard it here first they will not be running anything after November 8th except a word processor to change their resumes!!!!

    And stop all this BOLOGNI about republicans voting democrat if you feel that way then go all the way contact the Board of Elections and change parties completely!!!!

    THE REPUBLICANS DON'T NEED YOU!!!!

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  15. You hit the nail right on the head, the republicans don't need anyone, that's why they have this problem, they forgot about the tax payers. The question should be what has the town done to combat illegal housing? Atleast Harvey raised the taxes on some homes to put them out of business. Now thats's more than the $50 fines the town hands out. One last question how mant town jobs do you or anyone in your family have in the TOH? You defend them so much for such a bad job of taxes and services and enforcement. Yes Services! look at our roads!

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  16. Exactly the Republicans do not need individuals who claim to be "Republicans" on these BS Blogspots!!!

    And Thanks for your reply and confirming my previous posting-

    Harvey Levinson has done nothing EXCEPT RAISE TAXES - Thank you for finally accepting that fact!!!

    The TOH when informed of Illegal Housing investigates, hands out fines and evicts if they have to!!!

    And to answer your question I do not nor any of my family work for the TOH or Nassau County!!!

    Poor services huh have you looked at the NC Parks versus the TOH parks???

    And exactly what streets are you talking about are you even sure that it is TOH responsibility not a COUNTY ROAD????

    Defend them yes I will defend them when compared to the 2 MORONS the DEMOCRATIC PARTY claims to be OUR SAVIORS!!!!

    Tom Souzzi - MORON

    Harvey Levinson - MORON

    Did you see what happened when Tom Souzzi let his dog off the leash?

    He allowed Harvey Levinson to go out and feel out the Tax Payers on "HIS" Ideas of a new Income Tax, combining commercial property taxes and combining school districts - That Lead balloon did not fly at all!!!

    And guess what Tom did ???

    Claimed ignorance to everything Harvey spoke out about and tried to cut all ties!!!

    Good Job Tom but anyone with a computer and google you and harvey and see the open community meetings you attended and where Harvey went over his 3 point plan to SAVE or TAKE OVER the TOH and NC!!!!

    Now Pat maybe you can remove that foot from your mouth and come up with something worth listening to ???

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  17. You must live in Garden City because the roads in Elmont are worst than city roads and yes I know the difference between town county and state. All those idiots point the finger at one another. Now don't get me wrong if the Democrats don't deliever change you will hear me load and clear and hit them even harder. I just know in my heart things have to change, we can't keep going on like this. I would welcome any new idea from the GOP but they give me no choice

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  18. The problem facing New York State as a whole is the level of spending and debt. This state in particular has one of the highest levels of debt in the nation. Any additional debt would be ill advised. Certainly spending cuts may be a viable alternative and funding from the pork laden federal transportation bill. We would therefore urge the taxpayers to oppose the proposed bond on November 8th.

    In terms of assessment, the current scheme to re-assess residential property every year is unreasonable. When a tax certiorari (protest) is successful, it is often short lived as the re-assessment the following year negates the victory. Furthermore, the reform of the county’s assessment system was to eliminate the length of time for a challenge to be adjudicated. I would hope that the proposal to re-assess every three or five years is given serious consideration. The taxpayers deserve a fair system.

    Paul Kosowski
    Nassau County Civic Assoc., Inc.
    www.nassaucivic.com

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  19. Property taxes are based on unrealized wealth and are unjust.

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