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My Morning Tax Rant

January 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments · News

A slowish news day in the North.  But not slow enough to ignore a couple tax-related items in the local press.

Everyone is having revenue/expenditure issues.  Whether you are a business trying to survive, a state-funded organization, or simply someone facing the certainty of an unprecedented swindle of epic proportions.  I’ve heard that the money involved in “the bailouts” equals all the money ever used since the beginning of the United States – all wars, everything included – even the liberally hated “War on Terror”.  Don’t even get me started about that Inauguration again.

It kills me when Newspapers opine about economics and survival:

We’ve said all along that, in an economic crisis, everyone has to expect cuts and share the pain. We continue to believe that.

His decision to freeze tax payments at current levels on all lands the state owns is not the same thing as cutting a service. It is nothing more than a transfer of disaster from his bailiwick to others’.

I think their minimal reporting on the history and implication of the Dillenburg case precludes them from editorial on the subject.  If you haven’t heard about Dillenburg, I recommend a thorough search and long cogitation about the actual origin of “State tax payments”.

Apparently, like all the people and entities grown reliant on “transfer of disaster from [one] bailiwick to others’”, they’ve forgotten that those funds likely came from their own pockets anyway.

For example, in the Adirondack Park, the state owns 3 million acres. The state agreed by law in 1886 that ownership of those lands requires paying local taxes on them. Otherwise, state ownership would be an onerous burden to municipalities that, like the state, rely on taxes in order to provide vital services for people who live there.

Some towns in the Adirondack Parke [sic] comprise 94 percent state land. Many are more than 50 percent. That much state land would be an onerous burden to municipalities that, like the state, rely on taxes in order to provide vital services.

Who subsidizes who?  To use a quaint North Country term, our tax system is such a ‘frickin mess we might never know.  Maybe if we were a “Parke” instead of a “Park” we could charge admission?  Conservation or economic development?  You really can’t have both.  Let’s make a decision.

The decision is not only unduly harsh, it is immoral and illegal.

Immoral?  Really?  Cuz I kind of like certain immoralities.

Then there’s this: Essex County plans 50 percent transfer-tax hike

Before settling on a 50-percent boost, Essex County lawmakers first considered doubling the real-estate transfer tax that people pay when they sell property.

And this brilliant part:

County Clerk Joseph Provoncha said a new transfer tax might be acceptable if someone selling a property paid it.

“One of the things discussed was this is unfair on those buying a property. The rule of thumb is it’s the seller who pays.”

Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said sellers are now trying to negotiate having the buyer pay part of the transfer tax.

“It is going to get passed on. It’s going to affect buyers and sellers somewhat. I think it’s going to affect someone buying a house.”

Since the tax is normally paid by the seller, the buyer would have to resist changing how it’s done.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect people whether they buy or sell property,” Politi said. “The question I have is jumping to this and having the third-highest transfer tax in the state of New York.”

He said a lower tax might be more reasonable.

It could also have a domino effect, Politi said, with the state deciding to increase its own transfer tax.

Whether you are the buyer or seller, when the Mob asked for a piece of the action, you pay.  I’ll bet some real-estate experts could better describe how this is impacting negotiations of transfers.  On a totally unrelated topic, the 1099′s rolling in are both reassuring and unfortunate at the same time.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • City Mouse

    I love this – “Conservation or economic development? You really can’t have both.”

  • TourPro

    Unlike in any other “Park”, we are attempting to do both here within the Blue Line. I suppose you can do both, but it will always be trench-warfare between the two sides.

    Ironically, the Dillenburg case has nothing to do with either. It’s purely a constitutional challenge.

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