Property Taxes Westchester County

May 13, 2011

Earlier today, I watched a video of our Westchester County Executive, Rob Astorino, as he assured us that he strongly supports a tax cap from Albany.  (http://vimeo.com/23657750)
Now, those of you whom I know personally may know that I am not Italian American.
If so, you also know that I am 100% against: sterotyping; ethnic, religious or sexual innuendo; and any sort of arbitrary exclusion or discrimination.
Thus, I find the reference in CE Astorino’s short video to Tony Soprano somewhat curious, at best.
And I would hope that the folks at Fordham University are having some genuine conversations about where they may have gone wrong.
CE Astorinio, a former president of Westlake High School’s student council, went on to graduate from Fordham University, which is “…committed to the discovery of Wisdom and the transmission of Learning… and which fosters the intellectual, moral and religious development of its students and prepares them for leadership in a global society.”
Something seems to be amiss here.
I have done extensive research to better understand why Westchester families pay the highest property taxes in America.
My research has led me to conclude that Westchester County property taxes have minimal impact on the tax burden my family — or any Westchester family — faces.
The reason our property taxes are “the highest property taxes in America” seems to have little to do with Albany.
If it was an Albany issue, then we would see residents in the towns of Amherst, Brighton, Manlius, Clifton Park and Wappinger bleeding profusely, and perhaps producing videos (hopefully without invoking Tony Soprano).
Are they-over taxed relative to the rest of the U.S.?
Sure.  They are in New York!
The real culprit in Westchester seems to be the myriad of towns, villages and cities  — together with school districts  — which together create extraordinary waste and inefficiency, and result in the highest property taxes in America.
I know that Phil Reisman loves to chase causes.  And I really enjoy his style!
I’m hopeful that I’ve given him enough fodder for the next 6 months, or so, and that we can get away from some Santa falling asleep (hey, that’s happened to me!) — or some $20,000 grant to an effective, efficient and well managed organization that is governed by an all volunteer board —-  to some real deep thinking around root causes.
I think I have heard, read and seen enough political blather to last me a lifetime.
What I yearn for is real solutions, not rhetoric.
I think it’s time for some powerful political satire combined with real deep analysis.
Come on Phil!  We are counting on you!
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