Saturday, November 17, 2007

A SUGGESTION TO HELP SENIORS AVOID IMPACT OF TAX HIKES--WORK OFF TAXES

During the past year taxes at every level of government has gone up. The County Executive just announced a tax hike. Town taxes are going up alot this year, village school & fire districts have also been increasing taxes annually. These tax hikes are forcing people to vote with their feet --they are moving out of Westchester.
I suggest that the NYS Legislature authorize local governments, school districts to provide residents with the opportunity to work off part of their property taxes.
In Boston there is a program called the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work Off program. Seniors are able to reduce their taxes by up to $750 in property tax relief in exchange for volunteer service to the community. This is helpful to seniors who are house rich and cash poor. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said. Seniors benefit by a reduction in their annual tax payment. The city benefits by the help of experienced volunteers.
Property taxes are a major problem for senior citizens. This concept also helps seniors who don't meet requirements for existing elder property tax exemptions. Departments (such as the library) with a need for additional volunteers would be able to benefit from program. Retirees could teach classes at schools.
Boston is not the only Massachusetts community that has this program. Townsend lets its qualifying seniors earn $500, while Newton seniors can erase up to $750.
Other major cities have sponsored similar programs in the past.
In 1976, Hartford enacted a property tax work-off measure that extended beyond senior citizens. In Connecticut's capital, any resident who was unemployed or with a property tax bill greater than 10 percent of their annual income could work off up to the entire property tax burden, according to a 1981 report in The New York Times.
While the Hartford program did not set age requirements, within five years, 70 percent of participants were age 50 or older. When I was a student in the late 1970s I urged the Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees to adopt such a program. The Scarsdale Village Board approved the plan but the NY State Legislature never authorized such a program.
I will be organizing a county-wide lobbying effort so that this program can be offered to residents at the county, municipal and school levels. If you are interested in being part of a lobbying initiative, please contact me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

isnt that reverse age discrimination? I am 35 and would volunteer to pay less.

Anonymous said...

The idea is great but $750,00 is a drop in the bucket,the way the taxes are escalating.
But then again it will be of some help.
Take a good look at the police and Dpw budget .this is where we have to cut some funds.
Let workers less than so many years contribute to their health be
benefits.
We are paying to much overtime to these two departments.
They have enough men to get the job done in the regular tour of work.
Please do not hire anymore ,we have enough,since no one seems to retire.
Then why should they ,where would they find fools that pay them their salaries without asking any questions.
This tremendous tax hike has opened the eyes of many residents as to why and how all this money has been going bye bye.
I think we had enough.

dnd said...

Nothing against senior citizens, and I do think it's a cute idea, but then wouldn't Greenburgh lose a lot of tax revenue?

Also, like 5:26 said, I'd like to see no new additional DPW (highway department) hiring or overtime allocations. The current staff could perform so much better and with no added hours if they were supervised. I don't know much about the police department, but the harbor patrol is redundant and unnecessary, and it's probably pretty costly, too.

Anonymous said...

Not only should thay do away with the River Patrol they should stop training the police to be firefighters

Paul Feiner said...

Dear DnD: would you have the time to join me one morning/afternoon -watching the leaf crews pick up leaves. I've worked with the crews, feel that they work very hard. It's time consuming. If we eliminated leaf collection overtime leaves would be picked up much later, creating hazardous conditions. If we cut snow removal overtime, our streets would not be safe on weekends and on evenings. If we had eliminated police overtime during halloween - we would not have been able to protect people's property. Years ago, before additional resources were given to the police, people experienced property damages, cars were damaged, etc.. These problems have been eliminated.

Anonymous said...

The DPW crews are not supervised properly.They have too many men doing nothing watching the same ones workingover and over again.
The police have too many men working inside to suit many of us,
If you have the manpower put them to work outside ,We are getting top heavy since no one is retiring from both departments.
Mandatory retirement is the way to go.
their jobs are getting as someone said previously too comfey,so why should they retire.

Anonymous said...

what police are being trained as firefighters, they dont fight fires.

Anonymous said...

The police officers do recue training for building colapse/car accidents/trees down and so on. The fire depts are already trained in these areas. It's classic case of duplication of services,
They should do more patrols

Anonymous said...

Fall Guy Whiner is about to perform one of his periodic magic tricks. Watch carefully as he misdirects your attention...
Complaint: Taxes are too high!
Fall Guy's response: Let's let senior citizens work off a portion of those increases.
Cheers and applause -
But those of us who are not seniors will pay EVEN more taxes because the problem, too much government spending, hasn't been addressed at all.
Fall Guy takes a bow as the newspapers laud his concern for seniors - the rest of us don't even get a jar of vasoline.

dnd said...

Good point about the snow removal. Leaf pickup, however, doesn't require any overtime; rearrange employee work assignments. Those doing the leaf pickup may be working very hard, but many highway department employees on other assignments do very little. More staff could be assigned to leaf pickup during the regular workday with no effect on other work assignments.

Overall, the highway department needs management and accountability. No roadways of any municipality in the area are as neglected as those of Unincorporated Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

NO TAX INCREASE!!!!!

This is getting rediculous now, I brought my home in Greenburgh 3 years ago and taxes just keep increasing, I have to send my daughter to Maria Regina to get a good education because the Greenburgh 7 schools are not up to parr as far as I'm concerned, and we don't need anymore police, fireman or anything else. I'm concerned about seniors, yes, but what about the hard working middle class person who is trying to keep a roof over our heads.

sbw

Anonymous said...

We need more construction of new homes. The heck with the civic associations who argue about the impact on the school system.
Many of us need help
We have to pay for private schools and yet we are hit with a school tax,that is unfair.
The ones that do the fighting against new homes do not have children thast have to go to school.Please mind your business and let progress be made here in Greenburgh .

Anonymous said...

Greenburgh 7 -- Just some advice. The people in Hartsdale are going to have to start running people for school board. Even if you vote down budgets, the "contingency" budgets mandated by the state allow for such high increases (especially with enrollment decreasing), the vote means nothing. You have to get control of the board. So few people vote, its not tough. Start forming a committe in Hartsale of taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Most of our taxes are school taxes. Paul has to start making decisions that take those into account.

Anonymous said...

MERGE the School Districts!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Feiner doesnt control the schools. Thank god.

Anonymous said...

Senior citizen with no children in the schools should not pay school taxes.

Anonymous said...

Senior citizens should pay taxes because , who paid for their kids to go to school? the seniors before
them . I know it is exspensive,but if they can't afford it' they should move.
Change the laws and start merging school districts to save money

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, if seniors dont have to pay school taxes, then I dont have to pay social security

Anonymous said...

There is no need for you to pay social security,if you have a good financial advisor he could put your money in a fund where you would be better off than SS.
Just think that maybe by the time you reach the retiring age SS will be history,but I thank you for contributing to my pension check for many years.
If school taxes for seniors could be cut in half it would be great.
We do need a good discount for this expensive budget that comes up every year,for more and more money.
Do the teachers still have their children attending classes in the district schools?

E. NEWBURY said...

IN RESPONSE TO YOUR PROPOSED TAX INCREASE OF AN ASTONISHING 23%...WE ARE SENIOR CITIZENS LIVING IN A CO-OP IN HARTSDALE WITH A GRANDCHILD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL AGE...WE ARE FORCED TO SEND THIS CHILD TO A PRIVATE CATHOLIC SCHOOL WHICH IS QUITE A HARDSHIP FOR US. DUE TO POOR SCHOOL PERFORMANCE AT WOODLANDS THIS IS A NECESSITY . THIS INCREASE ENFORCES WHAT WE HAVE BEEN THINKING OF DOING, WHICH IS MOVING OUT OF THE GREENBURGH DISTRICT TO MAKE ENDS MEET. TAX INCREASES OF THIS ANORMITY IS DRIVING PEOPLE OUT OF THIS DISTRICT. PLEASE STOP THIS INCREASE INCREASE SO MANY OF US CAN REMAIN HERE. THIS INCREASE WAS NOT BROUGHT UP WHEN YOU RAN FOR ELECTION..WE VOTED FOR YOU BUT NOW DOUBT WE DID THE RIGHT THING. MANY PEOPLE LIVING IN OUR 350 UNIT COMPLEX FEEL THE SAME ABOUT SELLING.