From Tea Party To Tax Revolt, Labels Rarely Impact Bottom Line
With many elected officials and candidates for office running as "reformers", its refreshing to see that the Tax Revolt Party, started right here in Nassau County, is garnering its share of candidates to run under its banner.
Ah, tax revolt. Much better than simply dumping tea into Hempstead Harbor. Cutting expenses. Slashing government spending. Passing along those savings to John Q. Public by way of lower taxes.
So, just where is this tax revolt?
Ed Mangano, County Executive, presumably by reason of the misguided votes counted on the Tax Revolt line, is chief cook and bottle washer in Nassau, as well as at the Tax Revolt Party. And we support him in his revolutionary zeal (if one could call simply mouthing the words "tax revolt" as zeal). But seriously, Ed, where is the tax revolt?
County taxes account for roughly 18% of the total property tax bill. The balance (and a hefty one it is) -- Town and Special District (the Town by any other name) taxes: 20%; Library Taxes: 5%; School taxes (are you sitting down?): 57%. [Your mileage, not to mention tax rates, may vary.]
Where's the tax revolt?
Even if Mr. Mangano holds the line on County property taxes [and by the way, keeping the status quo is not, by any definition, a revolt], neither he nor the Tax Revolt Party he leads has one iota of control over Town taxes (or, apparently, anything else that goes on in the Town, at least Hempstead Town), and certainly, no control over the still skyrocketing School District taxes.
Where are the Tax Revolt candidates for School Board?
Even assuming, arguendo, that the Tax Revolt candidates (Republicans all, not that it matters much) are sent to Albany -- or returned, being that the Tax Revolt candidates from Long Island include incumbents and insiders -- what will change?
Ed Koch's Heroes of Reform include elected officials who have held office for a generation or more. Who doesn't want to be a hero, after all? And everyone, even the fixtures of Albany, claims to be a reformer these days.
The State Senate has demonstrated that, whether Democrats or GOPers hold the reins, nothing happens. Power plays. Coups. Gaveling in and gaveling out. The only productivity, if you could call it that, being the invocation.
The Assembly, marching lock-step under Sheldon Silver (neither hero of reform nor tax revolutionary be he), is held hostage by the whims of a single member, elected only by the voters of one Manhattan Assembly District?
Where's the reform? Where's the tax revolt?
Elect every so-called reformer and every Sarah Palin-loving Tea Party activist/Tax Revolt Party-endorsed candidate, and, dollars to donuts (and, friends, that's what donuts will cost), come the next election, the bottom line on your property tax bill will have gone nowhere -- but up.
We don't much like labels here at The Community Alliance. Indeed, we despise the labeling of anyone as "too liberal", "too conservative," or "too anything." It's a non-starter. The incumbents have their records to run on, most of which run counter to the labels they covet and seek cover under. The challengers, well, they make promises, but do any of us hold them to it? As for the labels? We repeat, where's the reform? And where the heck is the tax revolt?
The November election is but a month and a few days away. Throw the bums out? Put the reformers in (even those whom we could count among the bums we would so readily throw out)? Out with the old, in with the new? Or was that in with the old?
Maybe the indifferent and the apathetic -- the folks we blame for that which we can't (or won't) hold Albany or Washington accountable -- have the right idea when they fail to show at the polls. After all, take a look at the candidates being offered up for our consideration. Then ask, what have any of them really changed (underwear aside)?
Where's the reform? Where is the Tea Party? And where in the name of all the tea in Boston harbor, and the certainty of death and taxes, other than on lawn signs and placards plastered across fences that cordon off abandoned brownfields, is the tax revolt?