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Elmont Online

A Blog for All Elmont

Building a living history

Elected Officials Ignore Broken Tax System

The recent charges against New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pertaining to the payments he received from a tax certiorari firm, illustrate why money and politics continue to be a toxic combination for the taxpayer.

For as long as I can remember the tax certiorari system in Nassau County has been broken. Nassau is responsible for paying for successful real estate tax challenges from commercial and residential property owners. 

These tax refunds have cost taxpayers upwards of $100 million annually. 

Instead of responsibly budgeting for this annual expense, Nassau County has bonded it into the future, because it doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay it now.  

The situation has gotten so bad there is a backlog of unpaid commercial real estate tax refunds anywhere from $300 million to $500 million. The exact amount is unknown because of a lack of transparency.

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 January 2015 17:29 )

How ‘bout them results, amazing?

masturbation-ayurveda-and-healing-1The 2014 mid-term elections are over.  The politicians and their respective staffs who won are claiming the spoils of victory and those who lost are licking their wounds and searching for answers.  Why did the losers lose and the winners win?

Well, Citizen United v Federal Election Commission is a reasonable contemporary place to start looking at the 2014 election results. The case was filed in 2008; argued in 2009; and ruled on in 2010 by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The 5-4 decision says “Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast.” SCOTUSblog

But the Supreme Court was not finished.  They took aim at the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and on June 25, 2013 in another ideologically divided 5-4 decision the court in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act and opened the flood gates to some of the most egregious voter suppression laws since Jim Crow “ended”.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 November 2014 05:48 )

SEPTA Board Member Forgets ...

"Most of you like myself moved to Long Island because public education is far better than where we came from.  For me, it was Queen's.
I have always said we need to pay more attention to our local election because this has an immediate impact on our wallets.  This upcoming election will certainly affect our wallet (higher taxes to support all the cuts in school aids) if Long Island loses control in the Senate.  Please see below [here]:

Thanks, Barbara"

The writer, Barbara Reynolds, is a supporter of Republican State Senator Jack Martins. I am a supporter of Democrat Adam Haber.  We both love and respect our community, but one of us is forgetting about where we came from. I came from South Jamaica, Queens. My mom moved us out to Elmont for a better quality education. I agree with my fellow neighbor about Long Island schools being better.

My candidate Adam Haber believes that all children across New York, especially on Long Island deserve a good quality PUBLIC education.  Adam comes from a family of teachers, turned around Roslyn schools and will fight for Long Island every day.

Martins has his four children in private school and wanted tax breaks for private schools that would take away from public education. Martins also voted for Universal Pre-k for NYC but not for us! Actions speak louder than words.

If Martins is about quality public education on Long Island, why is he accepting campaign contributions from one of the biggest funders of charter schools, which are designed to take money away from public schools. So, I ask my fellow neighbor, if you moved out to Long Island for a better quality education, how DO you support a candidate who takes money away from our children. If you ask me...that’s not someone I want representing my child.

Pro-Charter School Groups Shore Up Martins

“Two groups funded by wealthy supporters of charter schools continued to spend heavily in contested Senate races over the weekend.”

“A second group, New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany, reported spending $120,397 in ad production for the Long Island race between Sen. Jack Martins and Democrat Adam Haber.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 October 2014 03:40 )

Why School Districts should reject Jack Martins’ Fund Balance Argument

When Senator Martins attacked the Roslyn School Board for maintaining a substantial reserve fund, he essentially showed his hand.  His argument is an old one – “Public school districts have too much money.”

His argument resonates among those of us who no longer have children in public schools and those of us who find it more and more difficult to keep up with the fees, fines and taxes Nassau County dreams up.   But to the parents of school-aged children who cannot afford private schools, his argument should ring hollow.  These parents must ask themselves this question, “What if something happens to my child’s school building and there is no reserve fund to address the immediate and unforeseen problem?”

In 2003, residents of the Sewanhaka School District were taken aback to learn that the roof (ceiling) on Sewanhaka High School tumbled down into a science classroom as class was in session.  Had it not been for reserve funds, the Sewanhaka District may have had to float a bond, wait a year to increase the budget, or worse - cut student services to fund the emergency roof repair.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 October 2014 04:19 )
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Can term limits help minimize the negative effects of partisan redistricting?

open letter-02

Today, we are talking to people about sustainable economic development, because we think it's important to show support for key issues that affect our community - like places in the Elmont for young professionals to live, shop and be entertained; like keeping families closer together and rebuilding the economic and social pillars of the community.

Eyes On ...

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Barbara Reynolds is a Long Island Regional PTA Board Member and recently installed SEPTA (Special Education Parent Teacher Association) Board Member.  She sent the quoted email to a list of residents and parents shortly after being installed as SEPTA board member.
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