The recent announcement of a program to reduce tens of thousands of New York property tax bills has been bitter sweet news for local homeowners. Everyone wants lower property taxes, but the Bloomberg plan has many angry that it is too little for too few, while offloading some of the burden on those that are hardest hit.
The program which aims to provide a blanket 15% reduction on property assessments for homes in Sandy ravaged areas means that some will still be paying taxes on values far higher than their properties are worth today, while some whose homes were untouched will get discounts, that pile the additional burden onto homeowners that really ought to be getting a break.
In the meantime debates rage over whether increased tax revenues are really enough, as budget shortfalls continue to mean public services being slashed.
The bottom line is that the majority of Long Islanders are still seeing their property tax bills rise, without services improving. Most are also admittedly over paying based upon faulty assessments according to politicians.
Schools could absolutely use help and so could plenty of other initiatives that could reduce crime and the need for policing. But isn’t it better for Long Island property owners to simply pay their fair share of property taxes and then choose to assist those that need it directly so that their funds aren’t burned up in the bureaucratic nightmare, mismanagement or abused by people in power?
You can do a lot to help improve life in New York and on Long Island, and without overpaying on your property taxes. Or of course you can choose to put your own dollars to good use protecting and providing for your own family directly too if you like.
However, you can’t expect the county to cut you a check for overpaying on your property taxes. You have to make the effort to file an appeal; a property tax grievance, to have your value reassessed.
Fortunately it’s a lot easier and faster than most think. You’ve just got to pick up the phone. What are you waiting for?