May Letters to the Editor

Re: Taxes Through the Looking Glass (April 2010)
I want to thank Lawrence Levy for reviving the idea of replacing property taxes with an income tax in his piece “Taxes Through the Looking Glass.” As a candidate for New York State Assembly in 2006, I made this issue the centerpiece of my campaign.

The property tax is our most regressive tax, hurting those of low and fixed incomes the most. It forces seniors and young people to flee Long Island in search of areas with lower costs of living.

The original concept of real property taxation did not foresee that large segments of our society would be property owners who retire on fixed incomes or young families at the lower end of the income scale. It was established at a time when property value was the primary gauge of wealth.

In 2005, Suffolk County had 331,511 more personal income tax returns filed than were taxable residential properties. A shift to an income tax would put 331,511 more participants in the tax base greatly reducing the tax burden on property owners.

Babylon and Huntington have between 10,000 and 15,000 illegal apartments and in Islip, that number may be as high as 20,000. It is estimated that 21% of the Islip residents do not contribute to the tax base.

Switching to a system that is based on an individual’s “ability to pay” will prevent the need for seniors on fixed incomes to sell their homes and relocate because of rising property taxes. For younger persons attempting to make their first home purchase, property taxes would no longer be the barrier that prevents them from making their homes on Long Island.
Bill Faulk, Manorville

Re: Taxes Through the Looking Glass (April 2010)
Larry, this is the best thing I have heard since moving to Nassau from NYC! We have held off buying property, because the tax burden is ridiculous—more than three times what we would have paid in NYC. I went to NYC public schools and became successful, although today they seem to be doing some scary stuff. A central school system for a county would benefit the ones that have trouble and certainly there is a ton of excess at the wealthier districts, not to mention the ridiculous overhead of 124 school districts! Sign me up!
mosesnbklyn, online

I am compelled to express my thoughts about the April issue of Pulse. It has everything. It is the best issue ever—by far. The articles are timely, varied and very interesting. They cover everything from sports, taxes to real estate. Also outstanding is the superb photography, especially with the fashion photos. I am certain that the Dream Homes section sends everyone to dreamland for a long time. Again, this issue is a big winner. Best wishes for continued success.
Frank Cetta