Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Greece Fire Taxes Unfettered By 2% Tax Cap



  • Greece's Four Fire Districts Can Raise Taxes Without Heeding To Tax Cap
  • Greece Ridge FD Raised Taxes over 7% last year, over 2% this year
  • NY State audit of Barnard FD criticizes budget practices & lack of financial plan
  • Notice to residents of Fire District Elections Needed

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just checked, I live in the Ridge Road Fire District and my fire taxes (where they employ 61 people) are almost the same amount as my town taxes (for my town taxes I get my roads plowed, salted multiple times each year, paved, grass cut in the parks and maintained, two libraries, 140 uniformed and civilian police employees, community center, town hall with various departments and 360 employees) how is this possible? Can anyone explain this to me? Why does no one make a fuss over this? Did the schools high taxes blind us to this fact?

Anonymous said...

The last Fire District REVOLT in Greece was in the 1930s when taxpayers forced North Greece to dial back buying their then Dream Pumper by using Law against Fire Commissioners.

Present Commissioners have no fear it will happen again.

SCATS said...

To 2:57PM ~~ We need Donald Trump to run Greece. Could it have anything to do with the fact an alleged felon (in the minds of many) is running the show and commiting highway robbery via FD taxes? Just a thought ...

Anonymous said...

How much 2% money is going to the Friends of Bill account since there are damn near ZERO Vols to manage & consume it in 2015 > 2016?
What's the budget for wheelchair oil over at Greece Ridge n/k/a Ridge Road Fire District?

Anonymous said...

We need the Trump.

We're stuck with the RUMP!

Anonymous said...

What is the tax cap level for FDs?

Anonymous said...

Tax cap is not enforced for FDs.
Voters must approve school budgets. Voters enforce tax caps.
Democrats and Republicans check each other - enforce tax caps for counties and towns.
FDs can ignore tax caps – they have no fear.

SCATS said...

To 8:32PM ~~ THERE IS NONE.

Anonymous said...

Check this out I Believe that when North Greece went to the voters to buy their latest 1.4 million dollar super truck they got turned down. Not to be deterred they used reserve funds to execute the sale now they are in tough financial shape. The truck they bought in my opinion is totally unsuitable for the territory they cover. Barnard in my opinion is functionally bankrupt. Why do we roll a 450K plus fire truck on routine medical calls when we have a contract ambulance service servicing the town. WE SAVE LIVES is the FD mantra well sorry to inform you but the save rate for cardiac arrest when CPR is delivered is about 5 percent give or take check it out. Oh wait lets form a committee for that, you mean like a truck committee? Yeah like that.

Anonymous said...

Restrict the voting hours to a minimum allowed by Law.
Plug the parking lot with Firemen & family cars so voters can't get in.
Hold a 3 hour vote.

North Greece perfected the technique when they lost a vote to expand the Fire Palace on the Hill, so they found a way around the system.

Taxpayers are too busy watching TV to be a problem anyhow.

It's an IAFF UNION show paid for by taxpayers, get used to the pain.

Anonymous said...

But they are priceless when you actually need them. Ask a family whose house, grandpa, mom or kid was helped/saved by a firefighter.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Time to start demanding answers from our elected officials. We presently have a system run by people who have no problem violating the tax cap with no consequences. A system run by people who have no problem levying 10-11% tax increases rather than running their organizations within their means - yes unchecked.
This cannot continue. Please demand answers.

SCATS said...

To 5:16PM ~~ That mentality just doesn't work in these economic times! Everyone's reources are stretched to the limit. The stock market today took away lots of retirement dollars from millions of Americans. The question is better phrased: What CAN we afford with the least/fewest dollars invested?

Anonymous said...

A smart man will know to fear power placed in the hands of people who spend money to get elected to Offices that pay no salary.

Just look how well School Board members show their accountability to the hand full of voters who put them in office.

Fire Department Boards are no different.

It's like giving your Master Card to a woman on the next street from your house and telling her to have a good time. Even when you get pissed at what she spent, all you can do is pay the bill.

Anonymous said...

SCATS
How do we know how much FDs are spending? Or budgeting? Tax levy does not measure either.

4:55

Anonymous said...

Don’t be fooled by tax cap. Cuomo outflanked Repubs by offering tax cap rather than rescind Triborough. Squeeze all local costs except union contracts. Gives neo-cons something to gnaw on while Dems buy votes with $15 and up min wage!

5:15

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 5:16 - thank you Hillary for that comment - you would be the perfect candidate for school board.
As long as there are no riots in the streets, there is no problem IE 'tax em till they squeal'.
Lets close our eyes real tight and make believe there is no problem here. Tax caps are for those 'other' people. 'Entitlements' comes in many forms and can be justified in many ways.
The following shows the concern I have received from our local politicians on this item ----------------------------------- it speaks volumes. Not my fault.

Anonymous said...

Greece Fire Districts apparently undermine any attempt for cost control and continue spending way beyond what is justified for maintaining acceptable fire safety. Wow, the Fire District portion of my property bill is almost 20%! Tax cap and transparency are not topics for discussion as they are too busy spending taxpayer money on new equipment and union crafted budget busters. I believe the Fire District trumps the Greece PD regarding frivolous spending of taxpayer money. There is absolutely zero hope for any meaningful property tax relief in our lifetimes, so if the opportunity to leave Greece for a community with a fair and equitable tax burden, by all means do so.........

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Truth and incompetence or half-truths and deception – pick you poison.

SCATS said...

To 4:54AM ~~ Check their individual websites. If the info isn't there, you will have to call or go to their meetings. GOOD LUCK.

To 10:19AM ~~ Mine is a full 25% of my bill!

Anonymous said...

It's even worse for Seniors who built the town everybody moved to because Greece was so wonderful.

Seniors get a reduction on town and county taxes, but the UNION firemen stick it to Seniors 100%. For a Senior with tax reduction North Greece Fire is 20% more than Greece Town Taxes, which include cost of Police.

How is that equitable?

Maybe it's time to pull up the 990 filings for these so called Fire Departments.

Anonymous said...

To SCATS 7:26

Are renters in Greece residents?
Do renters in Greece pay Greece taxes?

Anonymous said...

The cities of Rochester, Buffalo, New York, each have one Fire Chief. Greece likes to characterize itself as being a small city we have Four Fire Chief's. The implications of this are endless Fire Chief = take home car times 4. Now the chief cant do the job solo so Deputy or Assistant Chief = take home car times 4. The assistant needs an assistant = another car times 4 The FIRE POLICE Chief and helper both need take home vehicle's 2 more times 2 or 3. This is what you get when you elect hobby shop types and put them in charge of multi million dollar budgets. I would bet that most of the elected overseers of these organizations have little if any practical administrative or fire experience. In my mind bigger is not better chrome wheels roll just as far as painted wheels. I know that fire protection is important but why are there so many trucks with Rescue painted on the side running around town when the City has only one I know this is true because I asked a city fire man and he told me that the city only has one rescue truck . Why do I see fire trucks idling outside of Tops or Wegmans and the firemen are inside shopping or at the bank? I don't to get to take my companies vehicle shopping last time I checked diesel was a couple of bucks a gallon.

SCATS said...

To 9:12AM ~~ I'm not sure if there is some technical definition. IMHO, people renting with month-to-month leases are TRANSIENTS. The idea that renters pay property taxes is severely overblown.

To 9:49AM ~~ You make some excellent points! Where there's duplication of equipment and/or services, there's typically waste.

Charlie Hubbard said...

At this point I am most concerned about whether our elected officials care about these taxing authorities NOT representing taxpayers - obviously out of control. There is little doubt town officials knew these huge tax increases were coming yet showed no concern. Even N.Y.S. officials have voiced concern over the number of taxing authorities operating in our state in most cases with little to no oversight. Just the idea of any taxing authority violating the tax cap should be cause for concern.
Elected officials turning a blind eye to this item should be a bigger concern.

Anonymous said...

The Fire Department Taxing authority was established by the State, and neither Town or County politicians have a damn thing to say about what Fire Departments do, or the level they tax at.
Just be happy GVA didn't get away with their attempt to establish an Ambulance District 20+ years ago when they tried. That effort was beaten down by one man who did his homework and convinced GVA's Board he and others would force them to buy ONLY State Bid ambulances not the luxury rides GVA is so fond of.
Fire Districts know they are safe from an apathetic public and do as they please just like School Districts do.

Until 100 people are willing to group up and fight these groups nothing will happen.
Those hundred will become targets of revenge fast!

Anonymous said...

Elected officials kowtow to their political parties. Dems and Repubs have no interest in FDs – not enough money or power to control.

Unions interested, yes. Politicians interested, no. Nothing to do with taxpayers. Just that simple in NY.

Anonymous said...

Charles, elected officials as in town, county or state have no say over fire districts as they are legally a seperate taxing and governing authority. You know that. Or at least I hope you do.

Anonymous said...

NY elected officials do care. Already talking about raising tax cap because future inflation cuts into buying power of union wages. FDs will fit under tax caps in future. Watch!

SCATS said...

To 8:13 and 8:32PM ~~ It doesn't mean they can't comment on them ... but I'm well aware of how spineless they are.

Anonymous said...

The expensive Chevy Tahoe vehicles that various Greece fire service personnel drive around town are considered a necessary expense in case a fire related situation arises. I see these fellows all over town driving the vehicles to work and errands. The arguments for these large expensive vehicles have been that 4x4 trucks that can hold lots of gear are essential in our snowy enviroment. Somehow, town, city and state police officers can routinely drive about in the worst snowy weather with 2-wheel drive sedans but fire officials need big burly gas guzzling 4x4s to get to a scene.

I've been to some of the annual budget meetings at my fire district and rarely see more than a couple of other people attend the open public forums. Nobody gives a damn enough to be bothered to attend so the commissioners spend money like crazy. They need to keep up appearances compared to other districts outrageous expenses. (all the while claiming that the budget expenses are for the bare minimum of fire protection services). They claim they need these perks to keep attracting the best and brightest to the district or they'll lose out to the bigger spending districts. Apparently the fire service isn't as altruistic as you might think.

Why the heck do Greece fire deplartments need huge ladder trucks for a town with no buildings over 3 stories tall? Bragging rights. The enormous percentage of all fire service calls in Greece and the city of Rochester is for medical attention.

Dirk Diggler said...

Not true... The membership at GVA at the time voted. Third party billing or tax District...

Anonymous said...

Remember folks, it’s not just unions here, it’s about PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS. PEUs have no natural enemies in NYS – state, counties, towns, public schools, fire districts, universities. Overcoming poverty with $15 and up min wage plus push for more benefits will keep the floor moving higher. Voters love it!

Anonymous said...

Remember folks, it’s not just unions, it’s PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS. PEUs have no natural enemies in NYS – infiltrated state, counties, towns, public schools, fire districts, state university etc. The $15 and up min wage plus push for more benefits will keep the floor moving higher.

Anonymous said...

King William and his body guard Miss Michelle have take home SUV's. Just Imagine the emergencies they in counter 24/7!

Anonymous said...

The unions toke over the public education system and we know how well that has worked.
Next they toke over the fire districts and we can see how that is working.
Elected officials have chosen to sell out the taxpayers that elected them by making believe no problems here - now shut up and pay.