We don’t want a property tax freeze.
Andrew Cuomo – aka Governor Numbnuts – announced again yesterday that he has the solution to New York’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes.
They are insufferably high.
And he wants to keep them that way.
Somebody runs up and sticks a 12-inch knife into your back, right up to the hilt. Surgeon Cuomo would offer nothing better than, “Leave it right there and make sure nobody sticks it in any deeper.”
We’re worst, and let’s stay that way.
Somehow, in the mind of Andrew Cuomo, that’s relief.
Repeat with me: When Democrats are in charge, stupid things happen.
And this property-tax freeze is proof of that.
Don’t get me wrong. We need to do something about property taxes. But that something should not be the wrong thing.
And, as is so often the case, the Cuomo plan is the wrong thing.
He and his lackeys have repeatedly said that the state has put its finances in order, and now it’s time for local governments to do the same.
That’s a nice sentiment, but it happens to be a lie on both sides of the comma. The state has not put its finances in order, and local governments are not to blame for high property taxes.
The truth, as is so often the case, is the exact opposite of what Governor Numbnuts said.
Nevertheless, he’s sticking to his lie and, with the budget deadline a couple of weeks away, he’s turned up the volume on his sycophants and charades. He and his lackeys insist that his plan for a property-tax freeze is meant to help home-owning New Yorkers.
It’s meant to strip them of local electoral control of their lives.
By his tax freeze’s mandatory consolidation. To qualify for the plan’s tax rebate checks, municipalities and schools would have to enter into consolidations that would essentially eliminate their individual identities.
The governor says local taxes are high because there are too many local governments, and because they duplicate services and are unwilling to consolidate expenses where possible.
That is another Cuomo lie.
Shared services have been huge with municipalities and schools for a long time. Prudent mayors, supervisors, superintendents and county executives have long partnered among themselves to save the taxpayers money.
The consolidation savings Cuomo demands in his tax-freeze scheme can’t come from eliminating jobs and equipment, they can only come, in many cases, from eliminating governments.
The only way to dance to Governor Numbnuts tune is to run the real risk of losing your village, your hometown school district or your locally controlled police department.
It’s not that the village and the town need to share a truck and some employees – as they probably already to – the village needs to be absorbed into the town. It’s not that your school district needs to share some things, it’s that your school district needs to go away, absorbed into a larger mass of dissolved districts. And your town or village police department, you can’t afford that anymore, that needs to absorbed into a metro police operation, or you law enforcement needs to be turned over to the sheriff or the troopers.
You lose local control and he gains central control.
As is so often the case, the Cuomo plan helps nobody but Cuomo.
And it is based on a lie.
A lie about the fundamental dysfunction in New York government. Ironically, the local yokels have a lot more on the ball than the big wigs in Albany. Local officials from both parties run far tighter ships than do the bosses in the state Capitol.
The suffocating property taxes are, yes, collected by local governments, but they are essentially levied by the state government in Albany.
By an ever-lengthening sting of state mandates on everything from welfare to contracting to labor to regulations and fees.
In most counties, between 90 and 100 percent of the county property-tax levy goes to pay for programs the state requires counties to fund out of their own pockets. Most of all the local property tax money is gone before the county even gets to thinking about local items like parks and sheriffs departments.
But Governor Numbnuts is banking on you not grasping that. He is wagering that New Yorkers are so ignorant of how their state and local government works, and are so disconnected from the realities of their own governance, that they will accept his falsehood as fact.
So he is pushing his freeze.
It is all based on a lie.
And it is a ridiculous objective in the first place.
We have the highest taxes in the nation, and Governor Numbnuts wants to freeze them in place.
And he thinks that is doing us a favor.