26 April, 2006

Property Taxes In Dramatic Spurt Since 2000, State Comptroller Says

I once had a boss who had a good explanation for why we were going to run a story that I felt might not be newsworthy.

"It might not be news, but it is information." Who could argue with that? Especially since he was the boss.

Our story today on taxes may not be news to you- New Yorkers pay a heck of a lot in property taxes - but it is, undoubtedly, information you'll want to chew (or perhaps choke) on.

According to a study released by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, local property taxes statewide rose 42% between 2000 and 2005. Inflation rose 13% during the same time period, according to the study.

The study also shows that per-capita property taxes in New York are 49% higher than the national average, and 28% higher when taken as a percentage of personal income (we make more here so that lessens the crunch of high property taxes a bit).

Outside of New York City, property taxes are 55% higher than the national average, Hevesi's report shows. And in the NYC suburbs, $65 of every $1000 earned is spent on property taxes, while the state median is $53/$1000.

SUOZZI CHALLENGES SPITZER TO TWO DEBATES - A MONTH

It is a tried and true political strategy. If you're behind in the polls call for debates in the hope your opponent has a "Jimmy-and Amy-talk-nukes" moment. If you're ahead in the polls, avoid debates like the plague. Tom Suozzi must be (and is) WAY behind in the polls. The Nassau County Executive who is challenging State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic nomination for governor is proposing the two men debate two times - every month. Suozzi says the debates should be "issue-based" and held twice a month from May through the September primary.

SPITZER SPOTLIGHTS SUE KELLY'S SEAT AS ONE THE DEMOCRATS NEED

Spitzer, campaigning in the Hudson Valley last night, said New York's 19th Congressional District, held by Republican Rep. Sue Kelly, is a "must-win" for the Democrats. (Read the Journal News' account here.) The seat, which is still thought to be Kelly's to hold onto by most analysts, has shown some signs of being in-play. Several Democrats are seeking the party's nomination to take on Kelly.


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