Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Long Island
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-02-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
37,803 posts, read 41,031,367 times
Reputation: 62204

Advertisements

What do you get for your high property taxes and do you think you get your money's worth?

I could have asked this question in any non-city forum in any state but since I'm familiar with LI, having lived there most of my life, I'll relate better to your answers. I'd be especially interested in the answers of people who have lived in suburbia in some other state at some other time in their lives because you can compare what you get for your property taxes now compared it to where you used to live.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-02-2008, 10:18 AM
 
1,010 posts, read 3,931,904 times
Reputation: 187
(this thread is going to be another awful one, but I'll stick my 2¢ in anyway)

I don't think we 100% get our money's worth--the number of small, inefficient districts pushes costs up.

However, the schools are better and the general level of services (police, libraries, garbage pickup) is higher than it is in a lot of low-tax jurisdictions. And Long Island pays high salaries (especially to teachers and police) which we have to pay for.

I've never lived down south, but I've spent time there, and the quality of services in many areas is awful. What people in Florida consider to be "good schools" is laughable if you're from Long Island or many other parts of the Northeast. Not to mention that in many areas you practically HAVE to live in a gated community (and pay all the maintenance fees) because of crime--or because the entire darned city is made up of them--so your total costs aren't any lower!

The problem is that everyone likes to complain about the taxes but no one wants to make the changes we'd need to make to see cost savings.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 01:18 PM
 
718 posts, read 2,973,921 times
Reputation: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
What do you get for your high property taxes and do you think you get your money's worth?

I could have asked this question in any non-city forum in any state but since I'm familiar with LI, having lived there most of my life, I'll relate better to your answers. I'd be especially interested in the answers of people who have lived in suburbia in some other state at some other time in their lives because you can compare what you get for your property taxes now compared it to where you used to live.

I am going to be 100% honest.
We felt(my opinion) we didn't get our moneys worth for the high property taxes we were paying so we moved off LI.
We have the same if not better(my opinion) services for less than 1/2 the taxes we were paying on LI.

Some people feel the high taxes are worth it and they are entitled to feel that way. We did not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Huntington
1,214 posts, read 3,644,973 times
Reputation: 873
Here on LI 2/3 of the property tax bill goes to the schools - teachers salaries, school maintenance etc. A large part of the problem with the school tax is in Albany and the teachers union. Teachers who are tenured are set for life - after they retire they collect a hefty paycheck as well as medical, dental, and eye coverage for the rest of their lives. And it's the non-teaching public who end up supporting them.

There have been a number of threads in the past on this website about the teachers union if you're interested in reading them.

From what I've heard, the state of VA has their act together pretty well regarding real estate taxes and the way the school districts have been organized. Plus they have governor schools for the brighter kids in the state. Perhaps something to research if you're interested.

Long ago I was told that Ridge had some areas that didn't lie within school boundaries, and so the taxes out there were very low. I don't know if that holds true anymore.

No one likes to pay taxes period. But I have to say that for the most part my kids have benefited from the TVCSD regardless of the school taxes. Could things have been better in the district? Sure, but nothing is perfect. Overall, a good value though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 02:50 PM
 
Location: East Northport
3,351 posts, read 9,762,800 times
Reputation: 1337
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post
The problem is that everyone likes to complain about the taxes but no one wants to make the changes we'd need to make to see cost savings.
I agree with this statement 100% Long Islanders are constantly complaining about school taxes, yet they consistently vote in the budgets. They are also totally opposed to commercial development which would lower their individual property taxes.

As for rating what I get for my property taxes, here is a list of all the taxing districts on my property tax bill and my rating (1-10) of what I get for my money:

School District: 6
Library District: 8
County: 4
County Police: 5
Town: 4
Highway: 1
Ligting District: 5
NYS Real Property Tax: 0
Open Space Bonds 1 & 2: 0
Refuse District: 6
Fire Department: 8
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Little Babylon
5,072 posts, read 9,148,598 times
Reputation: 2612
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaII View Post
From what I've heard, the state of VA has their act together pretty well regarding real estate taxes and the way the school districts have been organized. Plus they have governor schools for the brighter kids in the state. Perhaps something to research if you're interested.
We've been pleased with what we get for our taxes both state and county. Good police force and very good schools in our county (new middle school coming on line in a year or so) and a great library by our home. Though all that may change unless we can get Tim Kaine to be Obama's running mate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 04:33 PM
 
1,010 posts, read 3,931,904 times
Reputation: 187
The thing about the budgets is that they're fundamentally irrelevant. The vast majority of a district's outlay is from state mandates, which have to be paid whether the budget is approved or not. If the budget is rejected, your taxes still go up (just by a little bit less) and the kids get fewer 'extras' (I don't consider art, music, sports etc to be extras). The biggest single expense for a district is teacher salaries, and the contract is signed and set; voters have no say (and I personally believe teachers deserve what they get anyway).

The changes that would need to be made to lower taxes are at a much higher level--reducing the number of districts, simplifying local government, reducing corruption (still exists), reducing Albany gridlock, cutting back on Albany pork projects.

And ultimately, given NYC-area salaries and costs, we're going to have to accept that we can only cut taxes so much. People in the South pay less because they get less.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Little Babylon
5,072 posts, read 9,148,598 times
Reputation: 2612
Long Island's taxes have been a long term problem that has never been solved and I doubt it'll ever be solved.

Here's a blast from the past (1989)
Suffolk Property Owners Demand Tax Reductions - New York Times

Quote:
People in the South pay less because they get less.
That's a pretty broad statement, what is it those in the South get less of?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 08:39 PM
 
1,010 posts, read 3,931,904 times
Reputation: 187
Well, in the sense that highly paid teachers and police (among other things) are something you "get". Salaries in the NYC area are among the highest in the US for these fields. levels of services are variable, but do tend to be lower in some respects. Watch the shock LIers get when they move to those low-tax jurisdictions and learn why the taxes are low.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2008, 09:12 PM
 
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 5,602,341 times
Reputation: 605
Honestly I just don't think Long Island can be compared to anyplace down south that ISN'T either a major city or a very close suburb of one. It's 'apples vs oranges'. I was talking to a friend yesterday who recently came back from a driving trip to Florida. On the way they stopped at a town in Alabama (sorry, can't remember the name) and saw a new-home development going up, so they decided to check it out. She was gushing to me about what a beautiful new house they could buy there for only 115K and property taxes of $500/yr, and that "It's not in the middle of nowhere either, it's got a Lowe's and a Home Depot and TGIFridays and two Starbucks and about a dozen restaurants and a mall less than 5 miles away". I bit my tongue and said nothing except "Sounds like you guys really liked it" but I was thinking silently "And that's supposed to make it the equivalent of Smithtown or Garden City? Methinks NOT!"

Not to bash the quality of life in the southern states, but just saying that a life down there, no matter HOW much lower the taxes were, would never be something we'd be happy or comfortable in.

"Getting what you pay for" is really a subjective thing that varies from person to person, whether the subject is the dollar amount on a tax bill or the dollar amount on a retail pricetag; in the end it all comes down to what it's worth to each person. Given the choice between paying LI taxes and living here, or paying far less in taxes and living elsewhere, it's a no-brainer for us: We'd much rather stay here.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Long Island

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top