Long Island’s property tax burden is heavy. It’s about to get worse for many.
This brings many risks for existing businesses, and maintaining sustainability and vitality of Long Island for the future. What strategies may help avoid losing more talent and community connectedness, businesses, investment and property value?
1. Enable More Affordable Development
A new strategic development plan in Brooklyn focuses on unlocking more space for development and encouraging more accessible housing and business space to make it more affordable to live and start businesses there. It is important to ensure that new construction does not catapult property prices and is truly affordable. Yet, done right building and development can help moderate soaring prices by providing more inventory. This in turn can moderate the rate of property tax increases.
2. Reduce or Eliminate Property Taxes
Property taxes could be replaced with other types of taxes and revenue. That could be sales tax, poll tax, or other revenue creating optional services.
3. Increase Net Incomes
If we can’t lower the expenses, we could work to increase net incomes in order to alleviate the property tax burden on Long Island. That could include eliminating or reducing state income taxes as other prosperous states have done. Or it could be installing better public transportation links to higher paying commercial centers.
4. Reduce Local Government Spending
More programs designed to measure, incentivize and motivate local government agencies and workers to operate more efficiently could help drive down future property taxes. Some of these goals could also be implementing smart technology for delivering county and municipal services, increasing efficiency in the education system, and selling off unused or underutilized government owned property.
5. Storm Proofing
Damage from major storms is expensive. Unfortunately, severe winter weather and strong hurricane activity only seems to be getting worse. Storm proofing measures for residential homes, businesses, government property and infrastructure could make a big difference in reducing interruptions of services, lack of productivity, and future expenses. For example, incentivizing building in smarter locations, strengthening structures and elevation requirements and storm surge barriers.
6. Appeal Your Own Property Tax Bills
The above strategies are efforts that will require a lot of balancing, negotiation, political changes and time. Yet, challenging your individual residential and commercial property tax bills and getting them lowered immediately is something we can all do right now.