Tax Watch encourages feedback and occasionally spotlights reader’s thoughts and opinions on taxes and related subjects.
In response to Tax Watch’s recent examination of local Industrial Development Agencies, the jobs they create and the tax breaks they give companies, Robert Rowton of Tarrytown wrote in to question why increased development in the region has not offset the tax burden of homeowners. Here is his letter to the editor in full:
The above front-page article really struck a chord with me.
I am a 35-year tax-paying resident of unincorporated Greenburgh. This town is analogous to an orphanage, its children being a collection of bits and pieces consisting of fragmented hamlets and neighborhoods bordering on incorporated towns into which they were never adopted. As such, they have no feeling of shared identity or chief concerns, no feeling of close kinship and neighborhood that their incorporated neighbors have, and little or no intercommunication. And as such, as vulnerable as possible to development and overdevelopment. You only have to look at the Central Avenue corridor and the Route 119 corridor to see for yourself.
Last year, residents were treated to an annual property tax increase in excess of 20 percent. The reason given by the administration was that in prior years, the future projections of expected tax revenues had been unrealistically low. One wonders, how much of the shortfall was due to development tax-deferments/abatements, extensions of same, etc.?
We are always told that homeowner tax relief will come from developers’ projects; yet developments go on and on, bigger and better, but residents keep on paying more and more property taxes. What’s wrong with this picture? Must we all join the Tea Party?