Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dude, Where's My Tax Freeze?

So Much For "Holding The Line" On Property Taxes

Well, those pesky property tax statements for Town of Hempstead and County of Nassau taxes are in the mail once again, leaving most homeowners to wonder, "Which part of 'tax freeze' am I missing?"

All of it, apparently, judging from the increased tax levies, virtually across the board.

We won't name names, but wasn't it the Nassau County Executive who, broom in hand, told us that he "stopped" the outrageous hikes in the property tax? And wasn't it the Town of Hempstead Supervisor, smiling all the way to the office of the Receiver of Taxes, who pledged to "freeze" property taxes across the board? [Oh wait. That was for 2009 and 2012. Stuck right there in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression were hefty property tax hikes!]

Did someone, somewhere, not get the memo? Where are our Republican/Tax Revolt Party tax cuts?

But enough of the rhetoric. Let's look at the numbers.

For the County of Nassau, where ideas aren't the only things being swept under the rug, here are just some of the property tax increases over 2010 tax levies:

General Purposes -- +9.89%
County Police -- +6.05%
County Environmental Bond -- +26.94%
County Sewage Collection District -- +11.88%

Thank goodness taxpayers won't have to add a Coliseum/Hub Bond to the list!

On the Town of Hempstead side:

Highway Repairs/Improvements -- +6.50%
Building-Zoning-Etc. -- +6.47%
Town Lighting District -- +3.96%
Town Park District -- +9.07%
Town Public Parking District -- +12.33%

And while the tax levy for the Town of Hempstead's Refuse Disposal District actually decreased by 19.46%, the levy in the Town's Sanitary District (#6), whose budget is approved (or should we say, rubber-stamped?) each year by the Town Board, went up by 15.07%. That's a lot of garbage, folks!

We've been had, blind-sided, played for fools! So, what else is new?

Yes, our local governments are holding the line, all right, while taxpayers are left holding the now empty bag!

Sure. Wait 'til next year. A freeze. A Tax Cap. A promise to be made and later broken. One hand patting us on the back while the other picks our pockets!

We asked you to let us know if that "bottom line" on your property tax bill for 2011 had, in fact, gone down compared to 2010. Well, has it?

Just looking at the bottom line, we are moved, like so many of our fellow Long Islanders, to pick ourselves up, lock, stock and barrel, and venture to greener, less taxing, pastures. And we would. But who can afford the tolls to cross the Hudson?
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Won't Get Foooled Again? Yeah, Right!

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