Long Islanders continue to be hit harder by a system which only seems to continue to mask the truth about finances and taxes, and raise the costs for locals who are hurting the most.
Rising living costs have been an added pain throughout 2020. Grocery prices seem to have been rising substantially. Now, despite far fewer riders this year, the LIRR says it will cut service by 50%, begin mass layoffs, but still hike prices by even more than the usual 4%, just as many are trying to get back to work again. The outcome of the 2020 presidential election also seems to offer the choice between an array of new and much higher taxes, or more inflation.
While NY counties like Nassau are pausing payments on their own debts, and asking for millions and billions in aid and bailouts, some departments seem to have millions and billions in surplus funds. Despite this, it seems property taxes are only going up, again.
Many Nassau County property owners are preparing to receive the news in their mailboxes of new bill amounts. Newsday estimates 53% of homeowners will see their property tax bill going up for 2021. Some by as much as 50%.
While many New Yorkers have been barely making ends meet with all of the chaos of 2020, or have been temporarily laid off, some towns like Oyster Bay seem to think their residents are so flush that this is a great time for town employees to get substantial pay raises. The local tax payers get to fund these salary raises and increased benefit packages.
Because towns like Oyster Bay say they only count some of the levies and different taxes for tax cap purposes, they claim bills will remain relatively steady. Yet, this masks a variety of tax hikes for line items on your bill. Often by millions of dollars for individual different services. It is not transparent at all. It is designed to be confusing.
Ultimately, Long Island property owners have two tools at their disposal if they want to avoid being routinely taken advantage of. One is to vote, and not just in the presidential election. Be a part of the process and decision making. The second is to appeal their annual property taxes and refuse to overpay and fund pay raises for those who are victimizing them.