Thursday, March 29, 2007

Property Tax "Relief" In Sight For Nassau Homeowners?

Ah, We Dont Think So!

News12 Long Island reports that a property tax "freeze" is in the works for Nassau County, with the County Legislature's minority leader, Peter Schmitt, calling for a 5-year "freeze," and the Chairman of the County Board of Assessors, Harvey Levinson, saying that, at most, the County can afford a 2-year "freeze."

Click HERE to see report, Tax relief may be in sight for Nassau homeowners.

We don't have our Webster's at hand, but the last time we looked, "relief" wasn't defined as a "freeze."

In fact, you offer relief from sky-high property taxes by lowering them -- or at least shifting the burden to non-regressive taxes -- and not by holding the taxpayers in the unenviable position in which they now find themselves -- heads under water and drowning fast.

If I'm the poor bloak with a brain tumor that's causing every bodily function to shut down, I need relief in the form of removing --or shrinking -- that tumor, not "freezing" it in place, hoping that my vital signs miraculously stabilize, as a ventilator breathes for me, a dialysis machine filters the poisons out of my blood, and I struggle to survive the night.

Telling that guy in a vegetative state, "hey, it won't get any worse?" is little solace. How about, "we're going to make you better, and here's the medicine you need to get well!"

Medicine? All we get are platitudes and placebos!

According to News12, Schmitt says he wants to put an end to stealth taxes and give residents a chance to catch their breath.

"Stealth taxes?" That wouldn't be code for special taxing districts, would it Pete?

"A chance to catch our breath?" Great! Of course, it would help if you would get that pillow off of our faces.

Yes, Nassau County residents are in dire need of property tax relief. And we spell that, R-E-L-I-E-F, not F-R-E-E-Z-E.

Eliminate, consolidate, economize and downsize. Those are the starters.

More bang for the buck and fewer hands in our pockets.

We need to attack the invasive property tax virus at its very core, not merely treat the symptoms with a shot of novacaine.

And when is a freeze not a freeze?

Even Peter Schmitt, with apparent limited attention span and but nominal intellectual capacity, has to understand that a "freeze" in the assessment does not necessarily equal a "freeze" in tax rates -- rates established by fire districts, water districts, sanitary districts, school districts, and so on down the line.

Do the simple math: A freeze in assessment + an increase in the tax rate = HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES.

Maybe we're missing something. Then again, maybe not.

All the freezes in all the towns and all the counties throughout the State won't amount to a hill of beans -- or to so much as an extra dollar in the pockets of Nassau's homeowners.

It is, as Peter Schmitt called Tom Suozzi's move to take County cars away from certain County employees, nothing more than window-dressing!

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