Jan 20, 2012
By GEORGE SAVA
First, I would like to begin with what I am being told is good news. Recently many of you, like me, may have learned that your tax bills from the Town of Hempstead and the County of Nassau are being or have been reduced. For those of you who have followed my articles, you know that I have been calling for a tax reduction and I have challenged our elected officials to work towards that end. Thus one would expect that the news of a tax reduction would be met with a sense of relief and a modicum of happiness. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Wherein one would hope that a tax reduction would be the result of our elected officials finally trimming the fat from annual budgets and ridding our area of waste, the reality and thus the truly bad news is that any tax reduction is due to the ever decreasing value of our homes. Like many, I moved to Nassau County in order to raise my family. Since the purchase of my home in 2007 I am very sad to say that its market value has dropped nearly 40 percent. When looking at the numbers it is clear that I am getting dangerously close to finding my home underwater.
For those of us who are not planning to sell our homes in the near future, the hope is that we can weather the storm until the time when home prices finally begin to rise. For those who are reaching their retirement years and whose retirement nest egg is the equity in their home, the future is worrisome. Will they be able to sell their homes and will there be enough made from the sale to allow for retirement?
It is clear that our locally elected officials are not responsible for the failing real estate market. That fault lies with a host of politicians in Washington DC that felt it necessary to force lending institutions to make ill conceived loans. Nevertheless, we must know how our locally elected officials plan to deal with the current economic crisis in light of housing values.
The foundering housing market has resulted in a diminished tax base for the Town and County. Consequently, one of two things will happen. Either our elected officials will trim the fat or they will raise our taxes in order to maintain their bureaucratic needs. If they opt to squeeze us further, they will push the Town and County past the point of no return. I say this because a further tax increase will not only expand the number of individuals who will lose their homes, a number which is already too great, they will economically prevent new individuals and families from moving to Nassau County.
As such, it is clear that we are at a critical point in our history. I don’t believe that I need to convince you that we have too many layers of government and a crushing bureaucracy. I have also previously pointed out that we have little oversight over the great number of special taxing districts. The size and scope of our local governments are simply unnecessary and wasteful.
Therefore, it is my fervent hope that our local officials take the required steps to ensure that our tax dollars are not wasted and that we are no longer subject to tax increases that stymie growth and harm Nassau County families. If our elected officials are serious about setting the Town and County on the right path, they will take those necessary steps. Now that would be good news.
Filed Under: George Sava
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