Why The Common Council and Pundits Treat Homeowners As Tools
The adopted budget includes a 4-cent tax rate decrease, making the 2014-15 tax rate $15.53 per $1,000 of assessed value, compared to the current $15.57 tax rate.
Clearly the Common Council — like other public advocates for ‘protecting the taxpayer’ and ‘saving our elderly, fixed income seniors from losing their homes to high taxes’ — delivered on their promises.
Here’s the funny thing though if you look at the numbers at what a typical single or 2 family homeowner will see in tax savings this year:
Typical tax reduction for a single family taxpayer*: $3.46
Typical tax reduction for a 2 family taxpayer*: $2.41
The numbers above are actually overstating the tax reduction because they do not account for other exemptions or assessment adjustments. And no, the numbers above are not in thousands. It’s straight up dollars.
But let’s remember the favorite and time worn political talking point here from our political and pundit class: we must protect seniors who are on the verge of losing their home or face impending economic hardship. Or, they assert: ‘we need to cut taxes to drive growth and turn things around’. With single family homeowners getting a whopping $3.46 tax reduction, we should now see an unbridled economic expansion like no other.
As I accurately predicted in my previous post, How the Common Council and the School Board Consistently Mislead the Amsterdam Taxpayer By Demagoguing on Taxes But In Reality Fleecing Them Out of Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Home Values , it’s not the broad taxpaying public who gets the biggest return from the council. It’s actually golfers as they got about 10 to 15 times the return the typical homeowner in the city received. The interesting question, in light of the council’s adamant claims of ‘protecting taxpayers’ and ‘our seniors’, is how do you justify giving such a return to those facing the least economic hardship on the backs of those you claim face the most brutal economic hardship ? How is that even spoken without drawing howls of laughter or contempt?
The answer is simple: the political and pundit class exist to entrench and exert power and influence, while all the while claiming to ‘protect’ the very people they are turning against. Even worse, if you are not a senior but find yourself raising a family here or investing to build a better life , you get no attention at — you get wholly ignored and dismissed. You — like me — are then the toolest of the tools.
Remarkably, the utter abandonment of this large demographic in the city — the very demographic who pays taxes and has a stake in the success of the city — gets absolutely nothing. No meaningful tax reductions. No meaningful progress to improved city services. No direction or initiative that rewards your taking a stake in the city as a homeowner with future returns to your home values. Nothing.
So if you still believe that as a homeowner and taxpayer, we have leaders and influencers in place looking out for you in terms of taxes or home values or services versus advancing their own vested interests, you are just the tool the council and pundits want you to be.
Don’t spend your $3.46 all at once; savor your windfall from the ‘protectors of the people’.
* Average Single Family Full Market Value: $86,529; Average 2 Family Full Market Value: $60,319