Long Islanders know more than anyone the impact property taxes have on their wallets. Over the course of one’s lifetime the amount of money a family could pay on their property taxes can easily be higher than the actual cost of the house itself. In addition, the way in which these taxes are calculated, in my opinion, is wrong and needs a complete overhaul. For example, let’s say you and your next door neighbor both live on a 100 X 100 property. You spend your hard earned money to improve your home and your neighbor does nothing to theirs. The way our current tax system works is that you, the person who improved the home, must now pay higher property taxes simply because you made it nicer thus increasing it’s value. This is unfair. Increasing a person’s taxes on these merits is like punishing people for doing something good. This has to change.
If elected, I will author legislation that will rewrite how property taxes are calculated. Instead of basing property taxes on a home’s value, they will be based on the square footage of the lot and home separately. One tax on the square footage of the land and another for the square footage of the home. The cost per square foot will be decided by the elected officials of each municipality and passed by the taxpayers via a referendum vote. Similar to how school budget votes are conducted. No longer will families be prevented from installing a pool, replacing their kitchen and bathrooms or beautifying their home because they won’t be able to afford the increase in taxes. The government is not a business partner with the homeowner and should not be penalizing them for doing what they want on their property.
Additionally, because families will be more willing to invest in their homes, the local economy will be stimulated by providing more work to those in the home improvement industry. This is a win for everyone.
As part of this legislation, the matriarchs and patriarchs of our society, our senior citizens, will see their property taxes cut in half. For too long New York has separated families because those on a fixed income can no longer afford to live here. Our seniors are vital members of our society and should not feel they need to move because they can’t afford the taxes.