Brian and Amy are your typical middle-class New Yorkers. They’ve worked hard to build a comfortable life for their three children in Hicksville, and hoped to remain there to be near family.
However, every year during tax season they are hit by a bill from the federal government that makes them question if they will be able to continue living in such a high-cost area. Their story is all too familiar, and I wanted proof that we need to change the federal tax code to account for New York families facing some of the highest costs of living in the country.
Last week the Nassau District Attorney made several arrests for tax evasion, with the defendants collectively owing almost $1 million. One alleged scammer seems to be a lotto junkie who doesn’t declare his winnings. Three others are charged with not reporting business income.
EAC Network was pleased accept a $7,500 donation from Angela S. Anton (left), publisher of Anton Community Newspapers, in support of the agency’s Light of Hope Luncheon, held this year on March 12. The donation will help support the agency’s services throughout Long Island. Anton was honored for her service to the community.
Sales tax revenue is the County’s biggest source of income, accounting for over 40 percent of total annual revenues. Therefore, it is gratifying that the final sales tax figures for 2013 show an increase of 6.3 percent to $1.13 billion over the prior year. This was on top of another healthy increase of 4.2 percent in 2012.
I am certain John Owens can respond to the recent critical letter faulting his opposition to the imposition of the new core curriculum in New York State schools. I support Owens’ position. The writer assumes Owens opposes excellence because he describes the psychological factors present in every learning environment. Intelligence, and the willingness to apply it are individual endowments. They need the proper atmosphere. A teacher’s job is to provide those conditions favorable to learning. Owens’ insight in this regard is commendable. Excellence cannot be imposed, least of all by bureaucratic fiat nor corporate competition.
Albany is broken. Elections are no longer controlled by we the people, but rather by special interests that spend millions on their agendas. There’s simply no way average New Yorkers can compete. As a result, we get record levels of corruption and a lower and lower voter engagement. A Fair Elections system of public financing of campaigns and lower contribution puts voters first and returns a healthy democracy to New York Governor Cuomo has included these reforms in his budget, but it’s unclear if they’ll stay there. Senator Kemp Hannon: Will you stand for common sense reforms supported by your constituents and support Fair Elections?
John Moore of Farmingdale, co-organizer of Nassau County MoveOn.org
It’s easy to forget suffering in spring. When the winds blow warm and gentle, the world feels like a tender, forgiving place.
There is always an abundance of volunteers at holiday time. Starting at Thanksgiving, chill air and frost on the ground provide stark contrast to the warmth of hearth and home embodied in our year-end celebrations. Through Christmas (the giving holiday) and all the cold winter months, everyone wants to help feed the hungry (often as a kind of object lesson for children) and comfort the lonely.
New York State officials with the departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, came to Village Hall on March 11 for a public meeting on the Farmingdale Plaza Cleaners site. The site, located at 450 Main Street, is listed as a Class “2” site on the state’s list of
Superfund Sites. After lengthy inspections and investigations, state officials indicated that they do not feel there are any health concerns that threaten the public. The actual amount of contamination was far less than expected. Rest assured, the public water supply is 100 percent safe, and the state will continue to monitor and remedy the site and the wells are outside of the plume path.
If you can read this newspaper, thank a teacher. And then get up to speed on the school budget.
The Farmingdale School District has recently released preliminary numbers, and the annual school budget dance has begun.
A few weeks from now, New York’s public school children in grades 3-8 will spend six days taking the poorly designed, expensive New York State Assessments. The overreliance on these tests has pushed school districts to abandon successful curriculum models and confine themselves instead to the limited, unproven and expensive Common Core standards.
“Prepping” for these dreary, mind-numbing examinations greatly reduces the time our kids can spend on appropriate, meaningful educational pursuits. It inhibits excellent teachers from bringing their inspiration and ingenuity into the classroom. The tests penalize children for their creativity and original thinking, and they punish gifted children and those with special needs even more severely. The process also channels tens of millions of our tax dollars out of the classrooms and into the coffers of rapacious testing corporations, who view our children as nothing more than a footnote on their bottom line. These companies also eagerly look forward to gaining access to our children’s confidential personal information.
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