Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Tax Revolt By Any Other Name. . .

Tax Levies Rise As "Revolt" Subsides

They may have taken to the streets in Egypt, Yemen and Libya, but here on Long Island, there's every indication that our protests are limited to the penned gripe and the occasional public moan, ventures to the streets confined to a walk to the mailbox to pick up the latest Statement of Taxes.

That "line" they say is being "held" or "frozen" is moving again, steadily upward, as property taxes continue to spiral out of control.

Arriveth the Statement of Taxes for the Nassau County/Town of Hempstead 2011 General Tax Levy, and, lo and behold (more like, high and be shocked), someone's finger apparently got stuck on the "+" key.

County General Purposes tax levy, up 9.89%. County Police, up 6.05%. County Sewage Collection, up 11.88%.

Sure, there's only so much $435 million in County tax levies can buy, but didn't the County Exec say he wasn't raising our taxes? You can do the math, but clearly, the pluses outnumber the minuses in the "Change from Prior Year" column by nearly 48%.

So, how's that tax revolt working out for you?

Meanwhile, over at the Town of Hempstead, where Supervisor Kate Murray's "freeze" leaves us out in the cold, Parking District taxes rose by 12.33%. The Town Park District levy is up 9.07%. Kick up Town Lighting by 3.96%, Town Building/Zoning by 6.47% (must be for all those enforcement officers), and Town Highway Repairs/Improvements (who is kidding whom?) by 6.50%.

And while the tax levy for the Town Refuse Disposal District decreased by 19.46%, those who "enjoy paying more" for the privilege of the "local control" offered by the so-called special districts saw the tax levy rise in Sanitary District 6 by a whopping 15.07%. So, let us see. There's less garbage to dispose of, but more garbage to collect? Hmmm. Guess it's a matter of efficiencies...

Yes, the Town's General Purposes tax levy was essentially "frozen." The remainder of the Town's tax bill (save Refuse Disposal), more icing on the Town's cake.

The bottom line on the latest tax bill, for most Nassau County/Town of Hempstead homeowners, is a  nearly 6% net increase in property taxes. Not exactly a "freeze." Nowhere near "holding the line."

Mind you, this does NOT include school property taxes. Depending upon your district, that was an additional increase in the tax levy of upwards of 8%.

Hey, it's only money. Your money. Well, it was. Now it's their money...

Maybe next year, they'll talk "cap" instead of "freeze." Either way, that's more property taxes, not less, or even the same. [If a "freeze" means higher taxes, you can only imagine what a "cap" would portend!]

Okay. It costs alot to light the roadways and fix the streets. Apparently, it costs even more to keep taxpayers in the dark (we told you to close the lights when you leave LI) and turn biways into lunar landscapes (are we zoned for that?).

Tax revolt? Perhaps next year. For now, the only thing revolting is the property tax bill!

P.S. Wonder where the Town of Hempstead hid the $7 million tab for running the Town's Animal Shelter. Clearly, we need a special district for that...

1 comment:

  1. As far as school taxes are concerned, all I can say is get ready. Given cuts in state aid together with mandated increases in pension increases, overlayed with ill-considered labor contracts and intransigent unions, and you have a "perfect storm", if not an outright tsunami when it comes to school taxes this year. In my district the school board is already floating the idea of an 8% to 9% increase in the tax levy. People are going to start reaching for pitchforks....