Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poll: Property Taxes Most Importsnt Issue, Say LIers

Ya Think?

Another DUH! moment here in America's first and oldest suburb.

A Newsday/Siena Research Institute Poll concludes that a majority of Long Islanders (or at least those who have not been in a coma for the past decade) believe that property taxes are the number one concern.

The statisticians can run the numbers and tell us what they mean. We already know. A tax burden that is crippling economic growth and bankrupting the populace.

We belabor this point only because, even without the myriad polls, studies, and independent research, Long Islanders are too often faced with unacceptable choices.

Food on the table or property taxes.

New clothes for the kids or property taxes.

College tuition or property taxes.

Fill that prescription or property taxes.

Property taxes are driving businesses and homeowners alike off Long Island, and that can only bode disaster for our economic stability and potential for real growth.

And what's fueling the property tax? School district (all 124 of them) taxes.

We love our schools. We can no longer, however, feed their insatiable appetites for the almighty dollar.

The cash cow is hereby pronounced dead. The death of the property tax, at least that part of which is the basis for funding Long Island's schools, must follow.

Barring significant -- and real (no ersatz STAR rebates) -- property tax relief, sooner rather than later, the poor house will supplant home ownership on Long Island, and we don't need a poll to tell us what that means for the future of suburbia east of NYC.


  1. How about America's dumbest surburb too? The reason taxes are too high is because we keep electing the same nitwits who raise our taxes over and over again. And the reason school taxes are too high (at least in part) is because we have too damn many school districts with too damn many overpayed adminstrators. And the reason we have too many school districts is because of our misguided notion that smaller districts promote "local control", which is a nice code word for saying that "if I live in a good area of Long Island, I don't want have to pay for or have kids from a lousy area of Long Island in my district." Aside from the extraordinary school taxes we pay, our educational "system" (if you want to call it that) ensures that kids who grow up in poor areas will not have the opportunities of those kids who grow up in well-to-do areas, which further means that poor kids are likely to become poor adults, and the rich kids will grow up to become...well you get the idea. The whole system is designed to preserve a status quo that certainly works for some but just as certainly does not work for many.

  2. Our taxes basically go to a 3 headed monster. Tom "I haven't seen a tax I don't like" Suozzi, Kate "I haven't seen a development I like" Murray and our schools that feel they're entitled to everything their little hearts desire.

    We can't do much about the schools right away, but as for the other 2, we can throw them out in November. Tom has had 8 years to get it right, and Kate has had 6 years. If the problem has only gotten worse during that time, why should we send them back to the same office to do the same lousy job?

    Think about that as you stand in the voting booth and get ready to pull the lever.

  3. The time has come for us to look at school district salaries. Are they market wages? Is there a teacher shortage? A reason for raising salaries should not be - well Central Islip pays $174K at the top end of its next contract, therefore our pay is reasonable at $140K. I do not feel that this is a reason to raise salaries.

    Good reasons for raising salaries should be: "We can't attract enough applicants" or "turnover has become a problem". Salaries are not "deserved" and people are not "entitled" to a high salary. A salary should be based on free market conditions. Until the salary/benefit/pension issue is under control we will always have a very big tax problem.