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A Personal Story about the Impact of Property Taxes

We sometimes forget that it is real pople that are impacted by the ever-increasing property taxes. It is important for school boards to hear these personal stories.

The winter before last I became aware of a local resident who found herself without heat on the Friday before frigid weather was expected.

I became involved because a local agency was looking for someone to take her to Riverhead to secure emergency heating for the upcoming weekend. I volunteered to take her.

She was a widow and a senior citizen and, for reasons still unknown to me, her granddaughter was also living with her. An electric heater was being used to heat the living room and from the bedding I saw there it was clear that's where the two were sleeping. When the interviewer at Social Services asked her why she hadn't used her social security to pay for the heat, this woman, who was mortified and embarassed to find herself in this situation, replied that she had to make a decision between paying her property taxes and getting heat--and she chose to pay her taxes.

In these hard economic times I doubt that this situation is unique. Respite from the undue burden of ever-increasing property taxes can only come from the school districts, and not at the expense of school programs. The only way to do this is to renogiate contracts. And the only way that the districts will pay attention to the needs of the community as a whole is for more people to get involved and speak up.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Wlodek February 20, 2012 at 10:56 PM
This is a very compelling story. Let's hope community pays attention in this school budget season. The author said it all.
MariaR February 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM
It is personal stories like this that should make school board members, union reps, and teachers think twice when they make their demands. Last year at a school budget workshop I expressed concern about the increases that were being proposed. One of the admistrators said I should realize that she had to pay the same increases. Of course she is making a six-figure salary to which the woman in this story had to contribute--as she sat there without any heat!!
BillLongisland February 21, 2012 at 05:12 AM
"One of the admistrators said I should realize that she had to pay the same increases. Of course she is making a six-figure salary..." MariaR, The School District Public Employee "Leeches": have No Regard for Tax Payers; to them it's "Free Money", and could care Less about "personal stories" . The Only Thing they understand is Stopping The Gravy Train ! Their protests are becoming less believable because we are reaching a Collective "Tipping Point" where permanent reform is coming...there is No More Money !
Bea Ruberto February 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM
MariaR, the notion that administrators and educators ahve to pay the same increases is disingenuous. Since almost 70% of the property taxes are school taxes a good part of the 70% the adminstrator pays as well as part of the 70% that you pay and I pay goes back in her pocket. This is not shared sacrifice.
BillLongisland February 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Obama's Price: $10 Tax for Union Teachers- You Pay John Ransom While the rest of us were celebrating the 4th of July with BBQs and parades and recitations of the Declaration of Independence, teachers’ union “delegates” from the far left were giving Obama the thumbs up. Not coincidentally they also voted to levy a $10 tax on union teachers nationally to help support “messaging” in front of his reelection bid. And the messaging will largely consist of another call to “crisis” in education because the union goose has stopped laying golden eggs. “The Representative Assembly recommended that NEA members vote to re-elect President Barack Obama in the 2012 election” wrote Will Potter of the National Education Association. “They also voted for a $10 annual dues increase that will be dedicated to funding NEA's Crisis Fund, a program designed to put money back into the states for pro-public education outreach.” 3.2 million teachers will pay the tax – out of your tax dollars- which is expected to double the amount of money normally put into the “crisis fund.” http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/johnransom/2011/07/05/obamas_price_$10_tax_for_union_teachers-_you_pay/page/full/

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