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Monday, April 19, 2010

Out of Control Taxes

New York State is the highest taxed state in the whole entire country and finally, residents are willing to do something about it. Well.......maybe. At least the local and liberal Press & Sun Bulletin actually admitted that NYS property and school taxes are outrageous - and on the front page of Sunday's paper no less. But aren't residents already keenly aware of that fact?  I mean, we are the ones that have to pay these high taxes every year and I finally have an opportunity to "feel the pain" with fellow homeowners.

Residents living in Westchester County pay the highest property taxes in the nation, which is believable because of its close proximity to the City. But residents in Orleans County (near Rochester) actually pay the highest percentage of their income in property taxes. In fact, sixteen upstate counties pay the highest property taxes overall, according to the U.S. Census.

One of our major deciding factors in buying a home were the amount of taxes we would have to pay per year to live there. We really liked a house in the Chenango Valley school district and wanted to make an offer on it, but the wonderful location was not enough for us to justify spending over a thousand more in taxes than we were comfortable. Even relatives have been searching for homes just over the PA border because the low taxes are incredibly enticing.

Maybe people, including me, would not complain so much about the high taxes if we knew they were being put to good use. But highly traveled roads in Binghamton, like Prospect and Front St. are so full of potholes that they totally take out the shocks on your car. The plowing in Binghamton is horrendous as well. Why would you not plow the roads after a huge evening snow storm until late morning/early afternoon? Some people still have to drive to work, yet it is impossible because the city would rather people get stuck in the middle of the road than clear it out for them. One of the first items tax dollars should go towards is infrastructure, but it is not happening.

Unfortunately, I do not see political leaders going for their own pay cuts, nor do I believe NYS residents are will to take cuts to health care or education. The solution? The local and state government really need to put a cap on their spending. The more they spend, the more the people are taxed to cover those expense. Common sense, right? Why is it so hard to be fiscally responsible? I wish we could see people elected into office who truly desire to make decisions for the people. But I am not sure that will ever happen. The city of Binghamton still elected a liberal mayor this past year, who decided that he wanted to raise our property taxes again.

The Bible says, "Give unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's....."(Mark 12:17). But at what point is Ceaser asking too much?
The Press & Sun Bulletin: "Special Report - Property Taxes Out of Control"April 18, 2010


Caroline said...

There's a republican economist running for NY Senate, David Malpass. I don't know much about him, but he worked under the Reagan and first Bush's administrations...maybe since he has a background in econ he'll be more fiscally responsible, we can only hope!

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