With Democrats Like This Who Needs the Tea Party

With Governor Cuomo and Bob Duffy in the midst of their sales pitch tour its a good time to assess what they are selling. It’s great to see them embracing equal marriage for same-sex couples but one has to wonder how much of that is a bone to throw to the base given their conservative ideas on property taxes.

Cuomuffy are right to focus on property taxes because in many areas of the state people on fixed incomes can’t afford to stay in their homes. For decades Albany has been whittling away the amount of tax paid by corporations and the wealthy and shifting the tax burden down to counties and municipalities who collect revenue primarily through property and sales tax.

But a tax cap is a blunt tool that ties the hands of local government. Rod Driscoll’s op ed in the Times Union shows how the property tax cap could bankrupt school districts and chase jobs away.

Most New Yorkers actually prefer the circuit breaker idea.

According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities property tax circuit breakers, like the devices that shut off electric power to prevent circuits from overloading, prevent property taxes from “overloading” a family’s budget by “shutting off” property taxes once they exceed a certain share of the family’s income. Circuit breakers are property tax refunds. Circuit breakers usually set a maximum percentage of income that a qualifying household is expected to pay in property taxes before it can receive a rebate. Among the states with circuit breakers currently in place, this ranges from 1 percent to 9 percent of income, with some states varying the percentage with the family’s income level. If the household’s property tax bill exceeds this limit, the state rebates either all or a portion of tax payments made above this limit.All state circuit breakers restrict eligibility to certain income groups; that is, there is a maximum income above which the household does not qualify for circuit breaker relief.

Of course this is an idea that Albany will have to wait on until they can get over protecting their wealthy patrons and get down to the business of generating some revenue for this kind of initiative.

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4 thoughts on “With Democrats Like This Who Needs the Tea Party”

  1. Property tax needs to be removed altogether to a tuition income tax paid by the parents of the children that go to school.And county tax is a separate tax that is billed to each person in that county.The tuition tax could be paid by all working people in withholding and spread over the state on a per pupil basis much more fair use of funds for all schools and equal education for all .Phase out the tax at age 55 one tenth a year till 65 and pay only county tax.Affordable housing and seinor citizen housing and the financial burden on the home owners and business owners bring new growth and real property ownership to the reigon.If you have the political will to do it many problems solved in one move.I would be happy to debate further details on this if you like. Carl

    1. Carl,

      You are arguing for the principle of a la carte taxation. In other words, in your system, if you don’t use the government service then you won’t have to pay for it. That’s not the system that Americans have traditionally used. The American tax system insures that we all pay for services that we as a group have determined are essential for our society. Are sewers necessary? Everybody should pay for the sewers. Are police necessary? Everybody should pay regardless of your home security set up. If you live in a brick house you don’t get to opt out of paying for the fire department. If you walk to work you don’t get to opt out of paying for road repair. We’ve determined that education is a critical component of our democracy and that the group as a whole should invest in the education of our young.

      Our society has defined itself as a group of interdependent individuals. We’re tied together going up the mountain together. You’d have to convince a lot more people to have your philosophy prevail. I’m not sure but I think your view is picking up adherents. We’re starting to move in that direction.

      For instance, there are certain services that the state provides more on an a la carte basis. Like Amtrak, NY State Thruway, and increasingly, the post office.

      1. Jon I have asked for all to pay into the system of public schools but on a payroll tax [tuition tax ] much broader tax base and much more fair to the students regardless of the school they attend.The tax would be less than the land owners now pay yearly because more would pay into this system and distribute on a per student basis.Equal education for all children low income areas with high crime and drop out rates would see a rise in growth thru education of the children who then go on to better jobs instead of crime or low paying jobs.Its not all about the kids today its about districts and teachers pay this would actually be about the kids all of them.At 55 a tenth a year reduction eases the senior’s economic tax burden and allows them to stay put in their home.Then brings affordable homes to first time buyers and relives the burden on ownership [you actually know the Mtg. payments for the life of the loan ] and wont be hit with increases over each year.Then you shift ownership to the owners of real estate property rights[rights are not given or taken away only privileges can be taken or given]This is much more in line with the FF original intent of our republic and our liberty’s.Thank you Carl.

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