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The Angry Musings of a Simple Country Man; Property taxes: There has to be a fairer way

By Hobie Morris  Posted by Charles Sullivan (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Message Charles Sullivan
The following is an open letter to our two local New York State Legislators, the Hon. Bill Magee and Senator David Valesky.

While a personal visit with you two fine gentlemen would be preferred, I must initially send this modest communique to express my deep anger regarding a topic I'll explain below.

Based on what I presume was a very small number of recent property sales in the Town of Brookfield (above the current assessment) the powers to be in Albany dictated a 25% across the board increase in residential assessment in this very poor, rural, etc. central New York township.

People were shocked and devastated by the increase--and highly and legitimately incensed. (One citizen's assessment went up $37,000 on an 8 ft., 250 sq. ft. addition to an existing building.) The figures are mysterious; last year we were 100% assessed; this year 92% with an increase of 25%!

It has all the not so subtle ingredients of an Albany move to permanently cripple and eventually depopulate this area--and I assume other similar areas--of the elderly, young--low income, hard working but struggling families, the few farmers who are valiantly struggling to hang on by their fingertips, etc. The easiest way to do this--and break up their land for the growing influx of the far more affluent down/out of Staters--is to tax them out of their home, off their many generation owned property, etc. And this is happening as you must know. Property adjacent to the tourist enticing State Land? Up goes your assessment; own a nice woods? Better tax that land higher too; a farmer with good land, road frontage? Up his assessment goes too, on the "possibility" of future development; paint your house? Sorry that's a "no, no." An army drab tent would be safer and far cheaper.

In the last 5 years property taxes in New York State have incrased 42%.

When will this regressive and repressive property tax end and be replaced by an equitable system that treats all people fairly and humanely, based on one's ability to pay or choose to buy as in a sales tax.

If you gentlemen don't change it soon New York State is doomed.

Will it take a "revollution" to change things in Albany? Will it take law breaking and civil disobedience before you the leaders wake up? Will it take replacing all our current elected leaders?

Time for this state is running out. People are patient and slow to anger and act but when they do, watch out.

Can we count on you gentlemen to lead the charge--on our behalf? Specifically, what can we count on you doing?

But then tese are only the angry musings of a simple country man.
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Charles Sullivan is a photographer, social activist and free lance writer residing in the hinterland of West Virgina.
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