Thursday, January 28, 2010

Arrogant, Selfish & Ignorant

In the 4 years (nearly) that I've run this BLOG, I've seen some amazingly thoughtless comments posted on a variety of emotionally charged topics. However, I've just received a comment pertaining to the senior income exemption that has managed to really frost my litter box for a variety of reasons which I will explain following the posting.

Anonymous said...

Although the program is flawed, if we put in the max exemption, taxes would increase about $20 per $100,00 of assessed value of the property. So, some of our seniors are struggling. I agree, the flaws in the legislation allows those with homes in Florida and large sums in accounts that don't count to "pull one over on us" and get the exemption too. I however am willing to give our needy seniors $20 (my great aunt) a YEAR to help them out. Maybe some of our older residents that are capable of paying their taxes should "opt out" of the exemption. Oh, I forgot they are too busy relocating to florida during the winter and complaining on this site to do the righ thing. Maybe what we should be asking is for the loop holes to closed instead of complaining about what amounts to $1.75 (roughly) a month. Maybe you could live without one starbucks or dunkin donuts coffee a month!   1/28/2010 5:06 PM

To 1/28/2010 5:06 PM ~~ You speak of your great aunt and tell us she is "needy." You say you are "willing" to give $20 per year to support senior citizens like her. Then you go on to tell the rest of us that we should "live without one starbucks or dunkin donuts coffee a month" to come up with the extra $1.75/month/person needed to support the senior tax exemption for people like her. Adding insult to injury, you characterize this as "doing the right thing." You, my dear sir or madam, are so full of crapple that I barely know where to start!

First of all, you dare to suggest that the community and I are still able to afford Star Bucks, Dunkin' Donuts, etc. Apparently, your arrogance has blinded you to the extent that you didn't notice when the largest Star Bucks in town closed down a few years ago. Could it possibly be because so many of us have already given up life's little luxuries?? To be honest, I've never frequented any such place because I simply can't afford to do so. In fact, the infrequent Sunday dinner at Red Lobster is also "history" in this household. Its become a real treat to pick-up Chinese take-out or a pizza ordered with coupons maybe once a month! Since delivery costs extra, we fetch it ourselves to save even more.

Secondly, how dare you imply that it's MY job (and the community's) to support YOUR great aunt! How selfish and thoughtless can you possibly be? I'm already very busy financially supporting my third relative in need and it's to the tune of much more than $1.75/month!

Thirdly, you mention that the rest of us should "do the right thing." Well, why don't YOU step up and "do the right thing" yourself? Why don't you pay your own great aunt's tax bill for her and get her off this welfare? Better yet, invite her to move in with your own family. Isn't that what family is for? Helping each other? It's what I'm doing and believe me when I say, it IS "doing the right thing" for all concerned.

Finally, and this is where your ignorance really shows, how dare you suggest that this issue is about "closing loopholes!" It's not. It's not about any "flaws" either.  It's about continuing to provide welfare for a group who has come to feel they are entitled to a program that was supposed to have been eliminated! It's also about age discrimination. And it's about people taking responsibility to live within their means ~~ If you can't afford the taxes on your home, then you need to downsize! I'm sure that an affordable rental can be found for your great aunt. Between the savings on property taxes, utilities & maintenance combined with the money from the sale of the property, I'd bet she can live quite comfortably ... especially since she wouldn't have to live with someone like you ;)


Anonymous said...

Imagine what society would be like if we all learned to live within our means. I don't always agree with you SCATS, but your point was well stated.

Anonymous said...

SCATS - You wrote an excellent response! Kudos to you! I couldn't have said it any better. This program has got to go. The school board should "just say no" and 'Ax this tax!'

SCATS said...

Thank you both. I do try, 8:48PM.

Anonymous said...

Your remarks are right on target SCATS. I had a chat with an older neighbor recently. When I mentioned the boe might increase the senior income limit, she shouted out angrily "GOOD! It's about time I got a bigger break on my taxes!" I was taken aback. This lady has money to burn. Her home is paid for and in a trust fund to protect it should she ever go into a nursing home. She has updated and made over her house in the last 6 or 7 years, from an updated kitchen to new siding (not the plain kind either), windows and doors. Her assets are protected to keep her "income" low so she gets all the breaks she can. She travels. She helps pay for her grand kid's college tuitions. She drives a car that she replaces every 4 years! Giving people like her a tax break based on age is ludicrous at best, and nearly criminal for those who are unemployed or have a house in foreclosure. It is discrimination and I can't understand why it hasn't been challenged.

Anonymous said...

What do we have to do to get rid of these entitlements? Who do we send letters and petitions to? Can the school board do it alone or do we need Robach's help?

Anonymous said...

FINALLY..........People in the community are understanding this WELFARE program for a group of people based soley on age and not NEED! This is the most discriminatory, vote getting, political WELFARE program I have ever seen. It needs to go.

Well said SCATS...

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that these exemptions were put in place to encourage the seniors to not vote in the budget and school board elections? It is bribery. They assumed that older people might be the ones to vote against the budgets and if they were given a break might just not vote at all.
And the STAR for everyone was phased in at the time the districts were rushing to get building projects approved about 10 years ago. All of us receive a reduction of just over $600 per year in Greece on our school tax. (bigger reductions in the high spending districts like Westchester for example)
Just think what our school tax bill would look like if that were taken away. And the state coffers cover that reduction. But it helped them pass those building plans and budgets. And BTW the 70% rebate in state aid for those projects (which we never see in budget reductions) comes again from the state coffers. That means our income tax is paying for that.

SCATS said...

To 2:50AM ~~ My understanding is that our BOE could eliminate this option in Greece by simply putting forth a resolution to do so and getting 5 votes to support it.

To 5:39AM ~~ Thanks :)

To 7:17AM ~~ For some reason, I recall the inception of STAR as being shortly after the time when sports was voted down in Greece. I think building programs came up around the same time, too. Keeping senior citizens "happy" was the goal (instead of student learning).

I laugh at the idea that state coffers cover this to the extent that if a store owner has a "10% off sale" every day of the week for an item or for everything, then it is no longer "a sale" ... but the actual price ;) The difference is that if a store owner holds such a continual sale, the NY Atty General's office takes them to task for it ... as happened to Sears maybe 10 yrs. ago!

Anonymous said...

What year was that temper-tantrum, table-throwing, big-driveway-envy demonstration? I think it was the year that a former board member's previous family threw a fit that the budget didn't pass even the third time around. He was not on the board then but resurrected as a phoenix with a completely new family and sugar mama. Ahh memories. Since only a few of us have such good memories to remember the reference,hope that scats doesn't delete.

Well the state has "fixed" that and no matter how we vote on budgets they still have transportation and sports and the salaries never take a reduction. But maybe no textbooks and no people able to pay their house tax.

SCATS said...

To 10:51AM ~~ Why would I delete your accurate recounting of an historic vote? I think that was around 1996 ... ? For the record, that future board member wasn't the only person who became violent and got away with it that day. In fact, the entire thing seemed to be supported by the Supt. at that time who observed the entire outburst by an angry mob of sports boosters, but did nothing about their gang-like behavior.

Anonymous said...

Are we ready to even discuss the following topic...Veteran Benefits?

What percentage of individuals in the Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines and Coast Guard ever see combat? The answer is 4%. That's right 4%, all others provide backup and support. Regular jobs that you and I do everyday. Desk jobs, dirty jobs, long hour jobs, stress jobs. Not everyone is in combat or in danger. In fact only 4% are in combat.

Now, right away PLEASE, any veteran hurt, disabled, injuried, physically and or mentally we owe them the BEST of medical care, mental treatment and lifetime support. We should honor all that serve but should EVERYONE get every benefit available. Does a size 46 coat fit everyone?

Every veteran gets a reduction on their school and property taxes. Every veteran gets the free/reduced college education, lifetime medicial benefits, housing, on base buying, etc. and the list continues.

As we look at "entitlement" programs of seniors, police, teachers, fireman, social security, medicare, etc, etc and etc are ALL veterans exempt from this review? I personally think not.

When I am in an airport or any crowd and I pass an individaul in a service uniform I ALWAYS say "Thank you for your service". Many times I get back "Thank you it is an honor to serve" I also get some funny looks.

It does seem to me that while we are looking at changing our perspective at individual groups veterans could be part of that review.

SCATS said...

To 11:18AM ~~ I hear your point and would like to make several points in response. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that Veteran's property tax reductions are something the BOE can eliminate. I'm not sure where you got your figure of 4%. Even if I accept it as fact, I think you have downplayed the danger or risks many non-combat vet's have been exposed to during military training & careers. For example, someone may train for chemical or biological warfare but never get deployed to a combat zone. It's possible they may never leave the US! That person was still exposed to some high risk situations that everyday workers are not. Also, just because the benefits are offered doesn't mean that all or even most vets qualify for or have easy access to use them. For example, if you do not live near a VA hospital or nursing home, then you can't really benefit from those services. It's not like your local doctor discounts your bill because you are a vet. Although I come from a family with lots of veterans, I agree that a review of the "giveaways" is something that should be done.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for taking the time to express my thoughts.

My grand niece lives in a little house (maybe worth $70,000) has two kids, has a small income and gets no tax break. The family helps her out as needed (emergencies only as she is very proud).

She/we do not ask for tax reductions but when this subject so comes up it really gets us stirred up. She can little afford to subsidize the non-payers but has no choice.


Charlie Hubbard said...

11:18 you bring up an interesting point.
As you may know there is no bigger supporter of vets than I but that is not the point.
In the interest of space let me offer at this time just one point. ANY elected official has a responsibility when looking at a program like this what the effect is on 'other taxpayers' - let me tell you that has NOT been happening. That goes for school boards, town boards,county, and state. Changes have been taking place on two items - emotion and politics.
For me THAT is not responsible. Someone tell me how you can give a tax break to one group withoput knowing the effect on 'others'. Were you not elected by all?

As for the school board this program hits 2 ways. The previous way plus a loss of STAR reimbursement. THAT again is irresponsible. I can virtualy guarentee you other districts are approveing this program without knowing any of this - puppets.

Ask any board member if these facts were made available to them prior to voting. Based on some of the comments made here they did not care.
What I will say is if you are truly concerned about taxes - FIX YOUR SPENDING and make that spending and make any increase in spending MEANINGFULL.
If you would like further info feel free to contact me.

SCATS said...

To 2:13PM ~~ You're welcome. I think the masses are feeling your grand niece's pain. I know I am.

Notice how there's been no response by the person who wrote the comment posted as the topic for this BLOG? Not a word from any supporters either. Maybe their position ISN'T defendable ;)

Anonymous said...

School District Math is a very funny subject.

To begin with, the District doesn't have to care because most people have no idea what their taxes are, they're part of the mortgage.

School Boards consider grandparents safe pro spending bets, after all, it's for the children. What granny will vote against her grandchild's future?

Then we have the biggest slush fund of all, State Aid. Borrow $10,000 @ 6% for 20 years with the taxpayer's approval, tax the suckers er I mean taxpayers to the tune of around 22,000, and collect another $7000 from the State. Marvelous little system of bookkeeping the schools use puts a lot of $$$ in somebody's slush fund. The taxpayer is too dumb to figure it out.

SCATS said...

To 12:37AM ~~ Many grandparents voted "NO" in the past. Thus, the STAR exemption, an attempt to placate them.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right about the taxpayers being uninformed. Especially those that are paying their taxes with the escrow in their PITI of the mortgage payment. Every 6 months they get an adjustment form where that have to pay a charge to get them up to date with the increase in the escrow which means the taxes have increased. And the monthly payment goes up also. Most people do not realize how much their taxes have increased because they only see it as a 1/12th increase. Only those that are paying their taxes on their own because they have paid down or completely out their mortgages are aware when they get the bill. Even though the escrow people get a form that tells them what they paid on their taxes so they can take it to their tax preparer etc still don't get the impact that the self payers get. Therefore they will be less upset at the taxes. And usually it is people over 50 that have diligently paid on their houses in full so they get that tax bill and have to write a check of at least $2000 twice a year. The senior exemption does not happen until age 65? And by that time if they are retired that lower payment will seem problematic.

SCATS said...

To 12:41PM ~~ Well explained! One thing I'd like to add is that the first time we had a mortgage, the bank holding it got the tax bills and REFUSED to send them to us to see after they were paid! We wanted to see what a school tax and county/town tax bill looked like and how they are broken down. It was many years before we had that eye-opening experience. I think that now, banks are required to send those bills to the resident, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

"As we look at "entitlement" programs of seniors, police, teachers, fireman, social security, medicare, etc, etc and etc are ALL veterans exempt from this review? I personally think not."

Amazing that you attack seniors, veterans, firemen, policemen and teachers and totally disregard welfare recipients who contribute nothing and gorge themselves on government welfare programs.

Typical liberal drivel. At least be fair and attack everyone!

SCATS said...

To 3:13PM ~~ I had the same thought when I read that previous comment. The reason I decided to not bring up welfare is that I'm not sure what the powers that be in Greece can do about it. Uncle Dave gives away school supplies then wants to tighten the state budget. Welfare isn't administered here so, head to Albany & Wash. DC if you want change.

Anonymous said...

Sorry scats, I was working and unable to read your drivel. My point was misconstrued on the senior tax issue. My point is that by not giving the tax break it will not hurt the seniors with the ability to pay, just those that are struggling. And by the way, please don't question my morals as to helping out family members, that is happening without issue or complaint. And no, my family doesn't gorge on take out, trips to restaurants, etc. Money is tight here too. My point was that sometimes our great nation has laws that protect the needy and that have flaws and loopholes that the rich have figured out how to use to their advantage. Those in need should get assistance, period. those seniors that can pay should say no thank you to the tax break. Also as for veterans, shame on you all. I don't care whether the vet went into combat or not. Last I checked, the military doesn't ask the soldier if they want to go to combat or not. They train you to do a job and then tell you where you will do it, might include combat but might not. This is not in the control of the service member. I would agree to eliminating the services for vets if ALL americans were required to provide 2-3 years of military service. Then all will have sacrificed. Until then, our veterans deserve any and all benefits.

SCATS said...

To 1:44PM ~~ My drivel? It appears your misperception has placed you in the minority.

Re: "Those in need should get assistance, period." WRONG!!

Those in need should do everything possible to help themselves FIRST!In this case, downsizing their residence is likely what's needed. Living within one's means is "the right thing to do." Burdening society with your reluctance to take responsibility for your own financial stability should not be rewarded with tax breaks unless/until those steps have been taken, period. The middle class is severely strained and needs economic help, too.