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Letter: Questioning Campaign Claims

Now that the local elections are essentially done and gone, I have a burning desire to unravel a mystery that was presented by local Republicans for city and county positions relating to interesting statements about tax increases and what appears to be the use of a mathematics that I seem to either have forgotten or was not taught in grammar school.

Statements were made in the press and on USPS delivered campaign materials that the elected officials of the City of Glen Cove had increased Glen Cove City taxes by up to as much as 50 percent or higher over the last six years.  This was not stated as a single house but implied to be an overall increase for all property owners.

I have used every piece of data available, including my own tax bills, and every math device that I learned in the past and to date and have yet to come up with more than an 11 to 13 percent total increase over that period.  The New Math (so well presented by Tom Lehrer) is not my forte and so that may be the problem.

Nevertheless, I am certain that the Glen Cove School District, including the board of education, the administration, the teachers, and the students, could learn a lot from these persons if they would disclose how they calculated an increase of over 50 percent for that period.

Everyone, I think, should be given the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of math and how tax increases are calculated so that they can fully appreciate the tax bills received and the manner in which the government is run.  Indeed, the students in Glen Cove should have this as part of the curriculum.

Therefore, I ask that the candidates, who issued this information, present to the Glen Cove residents in this newspaper the exact method used, with the calculations written out and the data on which they are based set forth in detail, to determine the tax percent increase published in their campaign documents.  

Assuming that they do not consider their method top secret, I am willing to dig out my slide rule to handle the math involved, to work in base 3 or base 12 instead of base 10, to even plot the data in polar coordinates on a log graph, and put in the effort to follow their logic.

Glenn Howard, Jr.