Sunday, May 8, 2011

Long Island School Property Taxes set to skyrocket for 2011-2012

School property taxes across Long Island are going rise sharply. Schools are trying to plug the hole left by New York state financial aid cuts. On an average it seems like a 4% school tax increased proposed by various school districts.

Now here is the trick part, budget vote is on May 17th, 2011 but even if district residents don't pass the budget they will still see their taxes increase by the same amount or may be a little less due to contingency budget. That is the reason we need the Property Tax cap proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to be passed by the Assembly to reign in uncontrollable tax increases with poor services. In addition to that New York and our country is piling up unimaginable amount of debt that will be a drag in future growth.

Center Moriches, for example, is calling for a 6.62 percent increase in next year's tax levy, compared with this year's 3.72 percent raise. Seaford seeks an 8.99 percent increase next year, up from 5.97 percent. William Floyd wants a 12.47 percent raise, up from 8.23 percent.

Central Islip, meanwhile, has decided to lay off more than 85 school employees including teachers -- a move that the district says could drive up some class sizes to 40 or 45 students. Sachem is cutting half its middle-school sports. Huntington is slashing full-day kindergarten classes to half-day sessions.

Voters face another dilemma: A growing number of districts are signaling that they intend to boost taxes higher next year if budgets are defeated at the polls than if budgets are approved.

Sayville, for example, said it will raise taxes 7.39 percent next year if its budget is approved, but 9.18 percent if the budget fails. That's because the district has agreed to use $2.5 million in cash reserves to curb taxes if voters say "yes." If they vote "no," the district plans to withhold its reserves.

Taxpayer advocates such as Fred Gorman, an organizer of a regional civic-action group called Long Islanders for Educational Reform, complain that such tactics amount to "legalized blackmail."

School taxes across LI set to sharply rise

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Long Island Property taxes most important issue, say LIers

No surprise here ! To stop this ridiculous rise in property taxes we have to educate our fellow LIers and contact your representative that they should demand Speaker Silver respond to the pleas of homeowners across the state and support a property tax cap in New York. It has already passed the senate but is being stalled in the Assembly by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Also this year we are seeing some enormous rise in property taxes in school districts such as
William Floyd 12.47% and Seaford 8.99%. Some school districts such as Middle country is resorting to blackmailing its residents. The deal for districts residents is either approved a 6.68% increase or the district is going to force 21.61% increase in tax levy.

Published by THOMAS MAIER at Newsday

By a wide margin, property taxes are the most important issue facing Long Islanders, according to a Newsday / News 12 Long Island / Siena Research Institute Poll. Property taxes were cited overall by 45 percent of respondents, more than twice the 21 percent who cited "availability of good jobs" as the second most pressing issue for Long Islanders. "Property taxes are really an issue here because it keeps the young people from staying on Long Island and it will prevent the older people from staying, too," Tafuri explained.

Property taxes also are a large part of why the 57 percent of those polled said Long Islanders are headed in the "wrong direction" rather than the "right track" in the poll. A similar margin said New York State was headed in the wrong direction as well.

Property taxes are a particularly raw issue in Nassau County, where 53 percent cited them as the biggest issue, compared to 36 percent in Suffolk. Islandwide, Republicans and people 55 years or older complained about property taxes the most. "The Democrats love to spend money and they have to get it from the taxpayers," said one poll respondent, a retired Republican who lives on Nassau County's South Shore.

School costs - the biggest part of property tax bills - were also on the minds of Long Islanders who cited "the quality of public schools" among their top concerns. "The first thing I would do is eliminate tenure for teachers in public schools to cut costs," said another poll respondent, a 50-year-old Garden City man who is a Republican and who did not want to give his name. Although he was happy that his two children attending local schools got a good education there, he said his family's property tax bill has been overwhelming.

Property taxes hit a chord with all respondents, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, location or party affiliation. In addition to identifying the most important issue, the poll underlined the intensity of Long Islanders' general feelings about property taxes, with 86 percent calling the issue "very important" and 11 percent as "somewhat important." Crime, schools, good jobs and health care also received strong reactions, with traffic congestion and the local environment getting milder reactions.