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Opinion

Opened my mail early January to see the 2002 "Town and Country" General Tax Bill and found it to be "blank" with only a "Total" and no itemization.

I faxed May (Newburger), Anne (Galante), the town attorney and threatened to throw them all in jail on an Article 78 Proceeding since my tax bills had all 15 taxes itemized every year for the last 43 years.

Quick results! Received itemization via fax the next day with the explanation "There was a computer 'glitch' and 'some' bills went out with no itemization."

Score one raised eyebrow (I knew a lady 52 years ago who could do that). How many other property owners received un-itemized tax bills? Most residents have their homes mortgaged with a bank, and thus do not see their tax bills until 18 months after they are mailed out from town hall in Manhasset.

For the edification of those who have always wondered "Where all the money goes?" "Who gets how much and what do they do with it?," here's an analysis, comparing 2002 with 2001.

Ah, for the good old days! Back in 1960 our town and country tax rate was $4.306. Now, in 2002, it is $34.20, an increase of 794 percent. Can't complain too much, however, since the value of our 86-year-old property has increased 2,544 percent - and all I did was change a few washers.

Port Washington Area

Tax Rate Increase (Decrease) in 2002

PW Police District 4.60%

PW Water District 5.00%

PW Garbage District 9.72%

PW Fire District 15.80%

(A) Subtotal -

Commissioner-controlled Districts 6.68%

PW Parking District 51.39%

PW Lighting District 12.50%

PW Sidewalk District 6.84%

NH Hwy and Part Town 8.98%

NH General 7.23%

(B) Subtotal -

Town Board-controlled Services 9.64%

County Police Headquarters 73.67%

County Community College 6.05%

County Fire Prevention (4.10%)

County General (24.70%)

(C) Subtotal -set by

County Executive and 19 legislators 18.70%

(D) Grand Total all properties in Port Washington unincorporated area with sidewalks, streetlights

Tax Rate Increase 10.63%

For average house with assessed value of $10,000,

the increase is $371.14

Note: Sewer tax is a direct assessment based on cost to amortize capital improvements and pay for operation, maintenance, repair and supervision/administrative expenses, thus not included in this comparison study.

Zowie! The county extortionists are socking it to all the taxpaying residents of the county, including those, like us, who derive relatively less benefits and services from the county detectives and Narco undercover guys, canine, helicopter services than do the affluent residents of the Plandomes, Flower Hill, Munsey Park, Strathmore, Vanderbilt, Searingtown, Herricks, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Estates, etc. By doing this, the county will drive those of us with our own "private" police departments to conclude that "if you can't lick'em, join 'em!"

All 19 smaller police departments will be forced to dissolve and the residents seek their service and protection from the county police. I saw this coming back in 1995 with the intolerable increases in county police headquarters tax.

Also note how the town government in Manhasset continues to "dump" on the residents of the Port Washington Parking District - by increasing the cost to park your car at the station or at street meters by 51.39 percent via tax increases. They will try to explain that it's manpower required to monitor the meters and stickers at the train station, but the town gets all the money from the meters and none of the parking violation fine money comes back to the residents or programs and governmental entities in our school district.

It is noted that the town board for the first time, postponed their town-wide budget hearing this time for a few days after the Nov. 4 election. In prior years, the hearing was always prior to the election.

Was the postponement last fall for the purpose of keeping us all in the dark regarding these inequitable extortionary taxes until after the election? And - how much of the overall - 9.64 percent increase in town controlled taxes are going to pay for the 30 year bond issue heaped on our backs because of the adverse judgment from the Court of Appeals against the town fathers (and mothers) who pulled the rug out from the Sumitomo Bank bondholders who had financed the stupidly conceived contract with a "paper corporation" which the town had engaged to handle our solid waste distribution?

Bob Persons

Self-Appointed Curmudgeon-in-chief

And Chief Engineer, Reid & Southern Railroad


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