"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy School Days

Of the $10 billion in new taxes that Senator Aubertine and Assemblywoman Addie Russell approved as part of this year’s budget, few could be expected to raise the ire of homeowners more than his vote to cancel STAR rebate checks.
With school taxes rising higher and higher, the rebate checks were the only concrete evidence of Albany’s concern for struggling middle class taxpayers. The checks were to have gone out the first week on October.

As if that were not enough, Albany continues its assault on property taxes by adjusting the STAR exemption also. See the Albany Times Union-- 'Surprise' Hits School Taxpayers

Part of that is the state's fault, as the governor and legislature in 2008 quietly lowered the School Tax Relief (STAR) tax breaks that most homeowners receive.  

That reduction is what is known as the "floor adjustment," or the discounted basis upon which a homeowner's taxes are calculated. STAR, which was instituted in the late 1990s, helps control property tax costs by reducing the assessed value upon which a home's taxes are based. The initial STAR exemption was $30,000, meaning that a home valued at $100,000 would be taxed on $70,000 of its worth.   
Last year, more than 21,000 Jefferson County homeowners received school tax rebate checks—ranging in value up to $390—direct from Albany.
(The Department of Tax and Finance helpfully has maintained a database where you can find the actual value of your 2008 rebate check at Bye Bye Rebate)
The loss of these checks is equivalent to a nearly $6 million tax hike on property owners and school taxpayers in the county.

School District
Typical rebate check amount
Total value of lost rebates (non-seniors)
Senior rebates lost (Enhanced STAR)
General Brown
Indian River
Sackets Harbor
South Jefferson
Thousand Islands
Total lost rebates: $5,970,240
Total number of households: 21,293
Total senior households: 5331


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that PIV. Made my Wheaties go down just a bit tougher.

I was wondering what happened when I saw my school tax bill, with its bigger than expected increase.

And also wondered about my STAR rebate check. Didn't Darrel promise to bring MORE school tax relief by beefing up STAR?

Instead, he cut it?

Enough is enough! Why does anyone stay in NY with politicians and taxes like these?

Anonymous said...

Why not consolidate the districts instead of giving a rebate? School spending is out of control, Did we need an artifical turf field at WHS? We have more school superintendents than county legislators.

Anonymous said...

School consolidation is LONG overdue in NNY include SUNY colleges which in some instances are only 10 miles apart -- give is all a break we are suffering while school s and colleges have their snouts deeper in the public trough.

School tax should be based on income rather than property values . The Fleischmanplan in the 1970's propsed this significant change which was based on ABILITY to pay rather than propeerty which continually increases in value , while a retirees income is FIXED .

The other problem is MANDATES __ Special interests for example in our local school district ( ST Law. CO.) the cost od SPECIAL education is THREE TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE than regular Academicprogramming per student !!

This is rediculous 18 grand per student per yr vs. 6 Grand . We should fund ALL programs with a BAse level OF FUNDING and THE invoke user fees FOR THOSE REQUIRING EXCESS COST.

Make some changes now Governor and Legislators and quit stalling Rome is Burning !!!!

Dan Francis said...

"We puts 'em in office - so we gots to tolerate 'em down there so we don't has too tolerate 'em here. They is, afterall, one of us."

A bit of dry humor to hide my anger and frustration ... alas.

What's one to do? Keep sending the same crew back to office, I guess?

Anonymous said...

Nice post ......

Anonymous said...

do any of you actually go to the school board meetings? Why should you expect a refund of your property taxes? If you owe them, then you owe them.
I agree that school spending is out of line, but people vote for expenses like artificial turf. The kids in the Bronx play on asphalt. Children are spoiled these days. Lyme Central got some money thanks to voters to fancy up their athletic fields. We played in the mud if that's what there was that day.
Hey Dan, grab a petition if you don't like who is in office!

Dan Francis said...

On the national stage, I see this:

A bunch of redneck goobers at the bottom or in the middle with most of us, who scream at DEMS in office as "taking away our rights, our money, our values, our guns, our Bibles, and stuff," yet they fail to see or realize that's precisely what the GOP at the top stands for and always has. In modern days it's now called:


Amazing - our edu level, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

They can't give a little back to the taxpayers but they found $170 million to give all the welfare $200 a child. Must be nice. We bust our a@$ so people like Darrel can spread our money around.

Anonymous said...

Of course JCC got more money, so maybe the arguement is null and void.

Anonymous said...

Iberdrola gets $500 million, why aren't you complaining?
Why aren't you complaining about the dairy farmers not getting their money?
You want your handout, but nobody else can have one, is that it?

Anonymous said...

Don't be stupid, 4:19. You don't have to blow smoke at this one. Truth is, educaaaation spending has been out of control in NY for a long, long time. And it isn't fair to single out Darrel or any particular party in this fiasco. Both parties are owned in total by the teacher union, and both parties have no balls. They bend over on command. They will continue to do so. The main reason for this is YOU STUPID VOTERS have bought into the premise that YOU DON'T PAY FOR STUFF, THE STATE DOES. Now this sounds simple enough for most to see through, but you the voter haven't been smart enough to do so. When a district puts in for a multi million dollar deal that they don't need, they tell you that the state pays for it. They tell you a large percentage of the cost will be borne by the state if we "act now". Folks, you are stupid. You believe this stuff. Somehow you think that even if this is true, you think the "state" is someone else. You think if "we don't git it someone else will." The teachers and administrative teams feed you crap, and you chew it up and swallow it. You do it every time.

This goes on a couple decades, and you guys start to squeal a bit. So they give you the STAR program. You knew in your hearts the chickens would come home to roost someday, but you took the "free" money and contined to vote for crap you didn't need because someone else was going to pay. Now yous got your ass handed to you by that loving, benevolent state you love so much. You can't cut anything that's for the kids. Teachers still own your government representatives. SO SHUT THE HELL UP AND PAY YOU F'N TAXES. YOU DIDN'T WANT TO LISTEN FOR 20 YEARS WHEN THIS WAS BUILDING, SO ENJOY THE REAMIN' YOU DID TO YOURSELVES.

Have a nice day. Stupid.

Anonymous said...

Ooo Ooo why not consolidate the districts?
Ooo Ooo why not go green so we save on electric bills?
Ooo Ooo why don't we lengthen the school year?
Ooo Ooo why don't we shorten the school year?
Ooo Ooo why don't we watch TV more in school and have one room for ADDHDDT and another for Star Gazers?

Ooo Ooo my ass. Truth is you can't do a thing about anything. Your schools are owned by unions and corrupt, payed for pols.

Again, have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

How about School Tax being based on the amount of children you send to school????

Dan Francis said...

Anon 1:59 - grab a petition for what? A run for which office?

You circulate for me, gather supporters, and get me on the ballot - I'll take it from there...


Anonymous said...

Ooo Ooo they will never let you base educaaaation spending on how many kids you have in school. Get over it.

Ooo Ooo voting won't help. They will own whoever is in there.

Just pay and shut up. YOU let this happen. Now enjoy.

You people remind me of the guy who screwed with his girlfriend and now are frantically trying to find a way to keep her belly from getty big. Too late. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

What a thread!

"You guys remind me of the guy who screwed his girlfriend..." Hmmmmmm.

And 5:36, your comment too long to really read, but why are you so anxious to cover for Darrel, who voted for this piece of crap-- and cost you and nme money.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of happy days?

Dede to work for strong senior healthcare in Congress with her "Bill of Rights." (on top of all other bills of rights?)...

Buts, since she would be in a very, very weak minority, what could she actually do, one ponders?

She says she can do these things:

Dede's Health Care Plan Save Seniors

"Alrighty then..." (said with Jim Carry twang).

Anonymous said...

IV...Do you want smaller government or bigger government? Do you support government hand outs or do you not? You need some consistancy in your message or everyone is just going to think you are a wack-o who bitches and complains about any and everything Democrats do....oh wait...too late for that...

Anonymous said...

There's no difference, "Gentleman Jim" brought in thousands to the area, no one ever questioned it, NCC got bigger than ever, handing out more services, Now the chickens have come home to roost, and we don't like it, wait till the Pension Bomb explodes, we'll all be running for cover.

Anonymous said...

4:07 Weak. It ain't PIV stating the obvious. It's me. Put the blame where due.

Funny, you poke at me for criticizing the Dems and the post before blames me for letting Darrel off the hook.

With such a focused, bs message, I'd guess you were a school administrator. At the very least a department head that bears responsibility for spending much taxpayer money. Most who react as you do have a vested interest in things remaining as they are. Don't worry. They won't change.

Anonymous said...

You're right things won't change, with the current focus in Albany, Oh well, glad we have two stalwarts in Albany fighting for us, err a someone certainly not us.

Anonymous said...

Just remember Dan's helpful and thoughtful quote. "If you think education is expensive you should see the alternative."

Yuk Yuk

Think of that when your writing your school tax check and your writing to your kids in North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

With JCC now "leasing" the Redwood Bank bldg. maybe Jefferson County residents should get a Star check from JCC.

Anonymous said...

Our schools are the only ones with enough money to lease such an expensive building. They'll end up owning it soon, and it will be a "necessary" addition to their campus. I imagine the state will pay most of the bill, so it won't cost anything. So shut the hell up about it.

Anonymous said...

3:05- another anti-education pundit from the North Country Brain Trust!
where would all your local high school grads be without JCC?
where else would the adults go who add to their learning ?
where would the nursing school move to?

Anonymous said...

You must be related to a school administrator, or will be in the building, So don't forget who the STATE is. Funny Mercy used to have a nursing program, We now have a firefighter course, setting the table for paid firefighters thoughtout the county. Wake upp, (Ispelled the last word wrong, so you'll think I'm an anti-education)

Anonymous said...

4:16 You ask where our high school grads are. I'd be glad to answer that question. Because of the excessive taxation levels, levied to support people like you who suck off the working people to maintain programs we can no longer afford, our high school grads have for the most part relocated to other locales. No one is suggesting we dismantle our fine JCC or our golden, superbly administered secondary schools. We are asking that they enter the real world. Live within their means. Quit lying about their needs. Establish pay scales and benefit packages that don't dwarf the private sector, or what's left of it in this part of the world. That, and throw in a bit of honesty. The taxpayers have sacrificed dearly to give our teachers a good lifestyle. Admit it. Maybe it's time for you to think of someone besides yourself.

Anonymous said...

Great Post 11;20.

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