Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why people are leaving Iong Island, NY ?

According To The Rauch Foundation click for survey. 56% of Long Islanders said it was somewhat or very likely they could leave Long Island in the next five years. 85% state property tax increases are a serious problem and 67% believe Teacher-Administrator Salary and Benefits are the reasons behind school tax increases.

A primary need in this State is to relieve the property tax burden mainly caused by school district spending. Shifting the source of revenue from property taxes to income taxes does nothing to stop the spending. Educational reform requires continued excellence in student achievement while significantly improving the efficiencies in the delivery system.  That means reducing school costs.  It emphatically does no good to try and dodge that bullet by diverting attention to from which pocket the money comes. To allow the present situation to continue will stagnate any efforts to reform and improve education for children
Money talks. The source of the problem lies in the restrictive legislation passed in Albany at the behest of special interest groups to the detriment of the taxpayer. The Legislature and the Department of Education is subservient to the extensive and continuous lobbying of special interest groups. In addition school administrators and trustees have often failed to disclose to the public accurate and transparent data relating to budgets and bonds. Legislation, similar to Sarbanes-Oxley, which mandates severe penalties, is needed to restore confidence in an educational system that has become unresponsive to the needs of children and property owners alike.
There are several concrete changes that should be made under your leadership
  • Allow only one vote on the school budget each year. Education Law Article 41, Part 1, Section 2022, paragraph 4, allows two votes on the budget if the voters reject it the first time. What is wrong with majority rule? A “no” vote under the present system is the equivalent of half a vote, since it can be tested on the ballot a second time. A “yes” vote, however, has full weight, since it cannot be challenged. This is inherently unfair and thus a civil rights matter. Change the law to require a single vote.  
  • Require that a contingency budget be the same as the previous year's budget. Education Law Article 41, Part 1, Section 2023 paragraph 4, allows a contingency budget that is larger than the previous year's budget by the lesser of 4% more or 120% of the consumer price index change from the previous year, plus other adjustments.
  • Having a contingency budget that increases a district's budget by 4% to 5% above a previous budget is no penalty, it sets such a high baseline, that districts are comfortable proposing 10% to 15% increases because the fallback position is still an increase, not a penalty for poor governance. 
  • Repeal the Triboro Amendment to the Taylor Law as it affects school districts. This amendment requires that the prior contract between the district and various school employee unions will remain in effect until a new contract is signed.  
  • Revise Education Law Part 4, Article 3012 (c) 2 to limit tenure for any school district employee to five-years duration, renewable upon demonstration of continuing satisfactory performance and educational advancement. Furthermore, teachers who are indicted for crimes should be suspended without pay, and if proven innocent, full salary should be restored.
    •   Under current law, employees have no incentive to excel, improve, or even meet satisfactory standards of performance once they have tenure. School Districts have no reasonable means to remove poor performers, as does any other business organization. Clearly this can be demonstrated by examining the numbers of teachers that have been terminated in any recent five-year period. It is easier and sometimes cheaper to let unsatisfactory employees “retire in place” while they collect full salary. A renewable five-year tenure period will give district employees a reasonable sense of long-term security, yet allow district supervisors to remove poor performers. 
  • Repeal the Wick's Law as it pertains to school construction projects. This law requires school districts to hire a General Contractor and three trade contractors under four independent contracts. 
  • Require that School Districts equally appropriate fund balances or reserves to reduce property taxes when budgets pass or fail. 
  •  Require that School District administrators and trustees declare and guarantee the accuracy and transparency of budgets and bonds presented to the voters and impose fines, loss of pension and or position for failure to comply 

1 comment:

skacutter said...

Bought a house in Brookhaven township. Quickly I understood why people call the town "Crookhaven".

1- $500 fine for erecting a temporary carport shelter when 50% of the homes on my block already have one. They called it "No plans no permit" which is a code violation for "Perminent structures only"

2- My property tax remained the same for 3 years and the 4th year I was in the home Crookhaven decided I should pay 300% more. Taxes went from 1450.00 a year to $5500. When I called the assesors office I was told "Its a completly diffrent house then what we see on Multiple listings from 10 years ago.

Mastic Beach School tax went up 13% when every other schooldistrict either went down or increased by 2-5% What the heck are you thinking "Village of mastic beach".

Overall it cost me and my family about $14,000 a year over what the same home would cost in another large metro area and we get nothing but a kick in the butt for all these outragouse taxes. We can't sell our home so we are walking away broke and will never return to this cesspool of an island

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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.