Sunday, March 04, 2007
Blaber calls for Real Property Tax Reform
Today Jeremy Blaber called for Real Property Tax Reform in New York State; in a letter to Council President James Noble, Blaber asked the Common Council to request that the state Legislature look at alternatives to the funding of public education. Blaber stressed the need to change the way schools are funded through property taxes: "The City of Kingston, which has a high population of seniors, are property rich and income poor and are being taxed out of their homes; homes they have lived in their entire lives and homes in which they have raised their families." It starts on a local level said Blaber, this is perfect time to move forward with this legislation, especially now that Governor Spitzer is in office.
Here is the full letter that went out, as well as the proposed legislation:
Dear Council President Noble,
As you know property tax reform is desperately needed in New York; too many families in New York, particularly Kingston, simply can't afford the way schools are funded through property taxes. The City of Kingston, which has a high population of seniors, are property rich and income poor and are being taxed out of their homes; homes they have lived in their entire lives and homes in which they have raised their families.
I ask that the Kingston Common Council look at the following resolution asking that our state legislature look at alternatives to fund education. I thank you in advance for taking the time to look at this and address it and take a step closer to true property tax reform in New York.
- Jeremy Blaber
By action of the City of Kingston Common Council, adopted at its meeting on __________ 2007, it was
RESOLVED that the following recommendations be submitted to New York State Senator William Larkin and Joseph Bruno, New York State Assembly Representative Kevin Cahill and Sheldon Silver, and Governor Elliot Spitzer, with a letter on behalf of the citizens urging their immediate attention.
WHEREAS the residents (members) of the City of Kingston have collectively considered the local issues of greatest concern to them and identified high property taxes as one of the highest priority among them; and
WHEREAS funding for local governmental services, including public education, is provided primarily through a tax on the estimated value of property; and
WHEREAS the welfare of Kingston homeowners is jeopardized by the rapid increase in the costs of public education and the inability of many homeowners to pay these increased costs; and
WHEREAS the increasing burden of public education on taxpayers also impacts on the ability to raise other taxes to provide services and to fund Town-specific and local initiatives important to the well-being of the community.
THEREFORE the City of Kingston appeals to New York State public officials to implement new measures for financing public education, including the following suggestions
1. Ensure equity in a formula for funding public education based on the taxpayers' ability to pay.
2. Decrease the revenue raised from tax sources based on the value of dwellings.
3. Refrain from imposing state mandated requirements upon school systems without corresponding state funding.
4. Adjust the formulas on revenues earmarked as aid to education from state lottery and other future gaming activities so that the annual percentage is substantially increased from current levels.
5. Regain lost tax revenue from the above actions through income tax.
Resolved and Executed at _________, New York, this ____ day of ______ 2007.
Posted by Jeremy Blaber at 11:03 PM