Finding Freedom From Sky High Taxes

We have a lot of freedoms to celebrate this year. Yet, high taxes continue to grow at epidemic proportions. What can we do about it?

Between the grass fed, gluten free burgers from the grill, the dressing up in red, white and blue, spending time with great people and the fireworks lighting up, it’s worth finding a moment to contemplate and be grateful for the freedoms we have, as well as consider how we can protect those we have left and flex them.

If America’s founders knew a fraction of the taxes New Yorkers were being hit with today they would be horrified. They might even migrate and start over somewhere else. Though, while we might feel a lot of our freedoms are being infringed upon today, we do still have rights and the freedom to make a difference in this key area which is robbing many other freedoms from those being caged in by high taxes.

Tax Freedom Day came even later for New Yorkers this year. Once the year’s full range of tax changes and hikes are totalled up, it may well be July 4th by the time many New Yorkers have made enough just to pay all the different taxes they are billed with.

The loss of tax deductions beginning in 2018 is really just the tip of the iceberg for New Yorkers. New online sales taxes may be coming, and some residents are finding their property taxes are going up by 17% or more this year alone. New tax assessments and processes in countries like Nassau may take bills even higher.

All this while the values of many NY properties are falling. The New York Times reports that in Manhattan property sales have fallen by as much as 17% in 2018, with sales prices down 7.5% already. That should mean property tax bills are decreasing, not increasing.

What can we do?

For a start we can be involved in the process. We can be involved in local budget meetings, in voting for local political candidates and national ones. We can also all individually challenge property tax bills and assessments. Especially when there are clear decreases in value.

We might be feeling cramped on many freedoms today, but we still have the freedom to vote, and appeal our taxes. It is vital we use the freedoms we have, while we still have them.

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Herbert G. Pitkowsky, Esq.