Excerpt ~ Letter to Editor, Greece Post, 12/10/15
Communicate tax facts better!
Finance Director Paul Holahan’s recent letter to the editor, “2016 town budget...” (GP 12/10) is a welcome addition to public discussion. I hope he continues.
Readers may recall another recent essay by Supervisor Bill Reilich and Greece Town Board (GP 11/12). Their headline said, “The 2016 proposed budget – No tax increase for residents”.
To many, this sounds good – maybe too good, so what does it mean?
Does it mean all residents... including renters? Arguably all [nearly all] adult residents pay property taxes directly or indirectly.
Does it mean all residents regardless of increasing taxable valuation/assessment e.g. re-assessments or declining exemptions etc?
Does it mean NO businesses, even though they pass the cost of higher taxes on to customers?
What were the numbers when the Board proofed the statement before publishing their essay?
The budget says taxes for 2016 (total all tax bills, $37.7 million) will exceed 2015. Conversely, the Board essay says, “...No tax increase for residents”! So, who pays the tax increase?
Director Holahan says it’s development in the town. Okay, what is the assessment growth in residential, business, industrial etc? How well is COMIDA working?
While the budget alone may add up, the budget and the essay don’t square one-to-the-other!
PS: Figures taken from “ONE PAGE SUMMARY OF THE TOWN’S 2016 BUDGET”.