Monday, September 04, 2006

That's Why They Call It Labor Day

Work Harder, Longer, To Pay Those Property Tax Bills!

Those Tax Statements are in the mail again -- for Town and County property taxes. [The ultimate sticker shock, by way of your School Tax Statement, arrives in mailboxes in a couple of months.]

We're going to eat just a bit of crow (or is it vulture?) here at The Community Alliance, and give Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray her due -- and appropriate credit -- for actually having held that line on Town taxes, or at least those Town taxes that are levied outside of the infamous Special Districts.

Kate Murray and the Hempstead Town Board deserve kudos for "freezing" Town taxes, and we'll be among the first to tip our hats. But, oh those nasty Special Districts -- at both the Town and County levels.

We've gotten hold of copies of several Tax Statements from residents whose single family homes lie within the boundaries of Town of Hempstead Sanitary District 6, and we thought we'd share some round numbers with you [and keep in mind, none of this includes school taxes, which, on average, account for some 60% of your property tax bill].

With respect to separate taxing districts (call them "special" or otherwise), we counted no less than nine (9) on the collective Tax Statements, seven (7) Town and two (2) County.

The Water Districts and Fire Districts each saw increases averaging 7.5%, while the tax levies in the other districts remained more or less constant. On the Tax Statements reviewed, homeowners paid an average tax of $280 to the Fire District and $200 to the Water District.

Aside from Water and Fire -- both Special Districts of the Town -- the other taxing districts noted (with the average tax amounts in parentheses) are:

County Sewage Disposal District ($270)
E Rock-Lyn-Mal CSC District [Does anyone have the foggiest idea what this is?] ($35)
Town Lighting District ($54)
Town Park District ($241)
Town Public Parking District ($12)
Town Refuse Disposal District ($300)
Town Sanitary District 6 ($801)

For those keeping track (are you sitting?), that's a tax of $2193 for "district" taxes alone -- nearly one-half of the general levy for Town of Hempstead-County of Nassau property taxes.

There is some good news. The County tax levy for "General Purposes," which for 2006 was $35,641,318 and change, saw a 30% drop from last year.

Homeowners in Sanitary District 6 still pay more for garbage collection than they do for police protection, taking the aggregate of $801 paid to SD6 and $300 to the Town Refuse Disposal District [total "garbage" tax = $1101], versus the $805 in taxes that goes to the Nassau County Police. [In 2005, the SD6 tax paid taken alone was greater than the tax paid for County Police. Those numbers changed in 2006 owing to a 7.16% increase in the tax levy on the County Police line.]

Of course, that's not the complete picture. To be fair, we have to add in the $567 homeowners pay the County for "Police Headquarters," where the total tax levied is a whopping $116,523,232, more than 3 times the tax levy for County General Purposes, yet not quite as much as the levy for County Police, which outdistances all County and Town levies by far at $155,628,861. That must be some party they're having at Nassau County Police Headquarters, all on the taxpayers' dime! Thank you, Gary DelaRaba. . .

More good news! The streets of the Town of Hempstead really are paved with gold (those chunks of crumbling asphalt you see are actually gold nuggets in the rough). The total tax levy for Town Highway Repairs /Improvements for 2006 is $51,939,271. That's nearly as much as the levies for County General Purposes ($35,641,319) and Town General Purposes ($16,595,353) combined.

Then again, your tax dollars at work on Town roadways is but a drop in the bucket when compared to the 2006 tax levies for garbage collection/disposal. We're talking $21,587,424 for Sanitary District 6, and more than double that -- $46,073,603 -- for the Town Refuse Disposal District.

Talk about throwing away money. . .

All told, the average 2006 Town of Hempstead - County of Nassau General Levy, based on the Tax Statements reviewed by The Community Alliance, was $4622. Assuming that this constitutes approximately 40% of the total tax tab, these homeowners can expect a total tax bill (once school taxes are tallied and added to the mix) of somewhere in the neighborhood of $11,555.

Boy, that $235.56 "rebate" check these homeowners are likely to receive in October will sure go a long way in reducing their property tax burden, won't it?

Now don't take our number crunching on blind faith. Do a tax analysis of your own -- if you dare. Pull out that Tax Statement, and once your head stops spinning, add up a levy here and a tax rate there. A little for the Parking District. Some more for the Water District. A heck of alot more for the Sanitary District, Sewage District, and Refuse Disposal District. And let's not forget the E Rock-Lyn-Mal CSC District -- whatever that may be!

Can't find your 2006 Tax Statement? Already shredded it in disgust? You can still check out your property tax numbers online at Click the Property Search tab. Scroll down to and click the button for "accept conditions." Enter your property description either by Section, Block and Lot or by street address. Then click on the General and School Taxes tab.

Okay. We won't blame you if you don't look at your tax bill. After all, "See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil" seems to have been the order of the day in these parts for the longest time as concerns our property taxes. They keep taxing. We keep paying.

It's enough to keep the average Nassau County/Town of Hempstead homeowner up at night. [WARNING: If you do stay up all night, please don't leave the lights on. Remember, the tax levy for the Town of Hempstead Lighting District is now $8,654,978, or another $54 per homeowner into the pot.]

Have a wonderful Labor Day. Now, GET BACK TO WORK!

1 comment:

  1. By the way, for those who may be interested, the E Rock-Lyn-Mal CSC District is a Nassau County Sewage Collection District.

    These are the pipes that lead to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, for instance.

    If you would hold it in and not flush so often, maybe we could save a buck or two!