Friday, February 03, 2006

They're Coming To Long Island. . .

. . .And They're Plugging In!

A study by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), as reported in Newsday, finds that Long Island has set a record for population growth. [SEE LI's Population Sets A Record.]

According to LIPA, this "pattern of slow growth" began in the mid-1990s, and is continuing. It is reported that some 79,186 new residents moved onto our island during the past 5 years (if only they hadn't taken down the toll booths on the Southern State), prompting LIPA's Chairman, Richie Kessel, to say, "(this) destroys the myth that everyone's leaving Long Island because we don't like it or can't afford to live here." [It's not that "everyone," per se, is leaving Long Island, Richie. It's just the taxpayers who are packing their bags. Those who contribute only to the tax burden and not to the tax base are moving here in droves!]

Newsday gives us some interesting figures for 2005, including the fact that Hempstead Town had the largest gain in Nassau, up 1,269 to 761,944. [The City of Glen Cove had the largest percentage increase, rising 1.57 percent, or 422 people, to 27,269. Nassau's total population was listed at 1,348,357, up by 3,425.]

In a township that has been completely "built up" for decades, it's housing stock saturated, just where are these growing numbers -- these huddled masses yearning for the suburban lifestyle -- setting up home in Hempstead Town? We'll venture a wild guess -- illegal accessory apartments!

Kessel also notes "that over 90,000 new residents and 27,983 new households have been added to LIPA's service area in the last five years."

Yes, we have seen the two, three, even six electric meters on the sides of houses built and taxed as single-family homes. Does anyone at LIPA bother to check the Certificate of Occupancy before installing an extra electric or gas meter on a house? Does the law require LIPA to do just that, or to make any reasonable inquiry to prevent becoming an accessory in the illegal housing scourge? The short answer is "no."

We have also seen our schools filled beyond the capacity envisioned for communities of single-family homes, with attendant expenses calculated in the tens of millions of dollars -- expenses that the taxpayers -- and not the renters or their landlords -- bear in increased school property tax.

Services, from fire to police, water to sanitation, are stretched beyond their limits, and just try to find a parking space along the residential streets of Elmont.

What is happening here on Long Island -- a trend already painfully clear in some communities -- is that the proverbial 10-pounds of bologna can simply not fit into the 1-pound bag, and, those who legitimately pay for the 1-pound are now compelled, by default, to pay for the other 9-pounds as well.

Believe it or not, there is still room to "grow" on Long Island. What we lack in physical space can readily be made up through creative planning and development. [We don't like to harp on a term widely used and misused, but what we truly need on Long Island is "Smart Growth."]

The key here -- aesthetics and logistics aside -- is to maintain the tax base in proportion to the cost of services provided, which means that the few can no longer be expected to pay, and pay, and pay for the many. Every resident, every household, every LIPA ratepayer, must pay his/her fair share!
- - -
In Other News

Suozzi, Levy Appoint New Members To LI Regional Planning Board
We have a Regional Planning Board? You could have fooled us. . .

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