Taxes unsustainable in St. Lawrence County
Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 7:37 am

To the Editor:

Have you had enough yet? Have you had enough of being an indentured servant to your local, county, and state government in Albany?

For 30 plus years, private and public studies have identified high taxes on real estate as a major threat to the state’s economy. Nationwide comparisons consistently identify St. Lawrence County as the most taxed anywhere.

The Consumer Price Index grew at a pace of only 3 percentage points annually in the last five years, yet the growth of the property tax burden has soared past 7 percent a year. Nearly 40 percent of our income goes to sustain schools and local governments.

As we heard this evening at the town board meeting, people and businesses are being squeezed by higher assessments and tax rates. In turn potential buyers of goods and services are drying up.

Projections of what will occur to local tax burdens without major reform generate one graph after another with lines that shoot directly upward toward total collapse. We are now is a situation of unsustainability and no one from the lowest levels of government to the very top have done much if anything to resolve the issues of taxation and assessments.

What was missing from tonight’s discussion is how property taxes also support county government. With the county seeking nearly a 15 percent increase we will feel it in our tax levy. What should also be noted is that this is now roughly 79 percent above the national average, with 90 percent of the dollars raised being mandated by state law.

Medicaid coverage is the biggest burden, one that costs more than in any other state. With political stalemate and politics as usual, along with heavy lobbying by unions for public employees and teachers, a lack of health care reform, and a legislature that is in denial; almost nothing has been done to relieve the burden on the taxpayer.

But we can be the grassroots attack on property taxes and fight to keep them from growing. I believe we have what it takes, to be the drastic change, the first to tell Albany we’re done being servants. I am ready to be the fundamental rudimentary element of change. Are you?

Are you ready to grasp and believe that money talks and holds the key to power? Believe that together our middle income, barely making ends meet money is the key to making the change we are so desperately in need of. Voting is practically useless, but greenbacks still hold control.

Yes, believe it, and shift away from the destruction of our middle class way of life. A way of life that is steadily being destroyed by the financial despots, the fabricators of fiscal fiction, the purveyors’ of poor judgment, we call government.

It’s our home, our way of life that’s at stake. And it’s our money; we should decide where it should go.

Tracey E. Haggett-Sloan, Norwood