Questions about the relationship between New Rochelle's administration and Echo Bay developer, Forest City Ratner, are nothing new to the readers of this site.Read more
If you want to blame someone for the annual assessment free-fall, point your finger at whoever sets New Rochelle's equalization rate who I would assume to be the city's assessor. (I also know what happens when you ass-u-me!)
In order to correct the free-fall, the equalization rate needs to be adjusted so that assessments are under-valued & therefore no one has a right to appeal their assessment. It’s just a percentage rate and could easily be adjusted (& it's adjusted every year, just not enough) to prevent future reductions in the "Grand List" or total of all of the city's property assessments.Read more
Taxpayers should have already received their W-2 income statements for 2011, and other necessary statements from their financial institutions. The New York State Tax Department has tools for filing 2011 tax returns on the Department's Web site at: www.tax.ny.gov.
Each year, more and more New Yorkers discover the convenience of e-filing tax returns - it's easy, fast, safe, and most taxpayers are doing it. In fact, 80% of taxpayers e-filed their New York State returns for tax year 2010. E-filing saves taxpayer dollars on processing costs associated with paper returns, nearly $50 million last year alone.
Tax tip: Taxpayers should check if they qualify for FreeFile, free tax preparation and e-filing software. Through FreeFile, taxpayers can prepare and file online their federal and state income tax returns at no cost. Generally, those who earned $57,000 or less in 2011 may be eligible. In 2010, FreeFile use increased by 32% as compared with the prior tax year. However, many more taxpayers are eligible. Visit the New York State Tax Department's website for eligibility requirements.
Faster refundsRead more
Gary Stern has a good primer on how local school districts are dealing with Cuomo's tax levy cap: School districts struggle to explain tax cap.
The first thing that school districts want their communities to understand about the state’s new tax cap is that it isn’t really a tax cap. What it does is limit how much a district’s tax levy can go up. That’s the total amount a district raises in taxes. But the cap does not limit how much property-tax bills — what you pay — may go up.
Exempt from the tax-levy cap are expenses such as pension costs and voter-approved capital costs.Read more
I was not able to speak at Citizens To Be Heard last night. I received some calls asking what happened. I had to leave before my name was called. I am not sure what happened. My name was on ordered sign-in slip number Five. Due to family commitments I get there early so that there is more than enough time for me to speak. I did not want to disrupt the proceedings and waited for my turn to speak. When I kept thinking I would be called next, I wasn't. I had to leave before I spoke. I feel the opportunity to speak before council was taken away. The Mayor says that he must follow the rules of the forum format. A mere mistake can be forgiven. But, Perception is everything as my comments were to state. Submitting my comments to The City Clerk are not the same as speaking before the full council body. I have attached my comments and will ask The City Clerk to enter them into the record.
Comments for February 14, 2012 Citizens to be Heard:Read more
A recent traffic incident in which New Rochelle High School swim coach Edward "Kip" Fierro caused a three car collision landing a local elementary school teacher in the hospital and him into police custody has brought to light a lucrative deal Fierro and his family have enjoyed for many years at the expense of New Rochelle taxpayers.
The staggering amounts of money involved raises serious questions as to the motivation of school officials involved.
Talk of the Sound spoke with a number of current and former employees of the New Rochelle Board of Education, parents, students and others familiar with the New Rochelle swimming pool and swim programs. They tell us that Kip Fierro has worked for the New Rochelle Board of Education as a Teaching Assistant and Swim Coach as far back as 1997, and possibly longer. He is paid a salary, benefits and accrues a pension. His school day responsibilities largely entail serving as a life guard at the pool. He coaches the boys and girls swim team. His pay and benefits are a pittance to what he makes running the Badger Swim Club out of New Rochelle High School.Read more
New Rochelle Resident Steve Mayo has filed a court action called an Article 78. Article 78 is a mechanism of New York Civil Law that allows a regular citizen like Steve to stop a government agency or officer from acting outside their jurisdiction. That is precisely what the Mayor and Council are attempting to do by flouting the law that prevents them from using illegal revenue sources like the Garbage Fee/Tax.
Upon filing the Article 78 action, Mr. Mayo said, “I’m just one taxpayer and taking on city government is kind of a David Vs. Goliath proposition but I believe that when taxpayers see how outrageous this fake ‘fee-tax’ is, this issue will gain attention and support. Then we can work together as an informed and mobilized citizen group to stop this ‘slight of hand’ type of accounting in our city budget.
Mr Mayo added, “The presumptuousness, the disingenuousness of the majority in masking their machinations is positively insulting, never mind being a textbook example of 'opacity in government.'"
RELATED DOCUMENTS:Read more
NOTE: New Rochelle citizens will gather at 10AM on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at New Rochelle City Hall to voice their outrage at the illegal and irresponsible garbage tax that will cost every New Rochelle home and apartment owner hundreds of dollars more in city taxes every year.
Shakespeare in his timeless tragedy Romeo and Juliet said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". In other words, regardless of what name you call something, it doesn't change what it is and it certainly doesn't change the way it smells. In the 2012 New Rochelle city budget, Mayor Bramson and the City Council hid a $223.00 tax for every single house and individual apartment in New Rochelle. They refer to this tax as a Garbage Fee but that doesn't change the way it smells or what it is…it stinks and it’s a tax.Read more