Stick To Facts - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1227182

Stick To Facts

Stick To FactsPeople of East Quogue, you may have received a mailer from the East Quogue Civic Association that does not support the incorporation of our hamlet. As per the Civics’ usual practice, the mailer is full of misinformation.

We would like to correct the record:

First and foremost, we are not proposing a big increase in taxes—quite the opposite. We are proposing local control to protect our taxes. Taxes are driven largely by increases in density, which the people of East Quogue currently do not control.

Only villages can control the character and density of their community. Local control by way of an elected, nonpartisan, volunteer Village Board and minimal staff will be paid by existing local revenues from building permits, sales and mortgage taxes, and franchise fees. These monies are being paid by the people of East Quogue to the Town of Southampton right now.

Next, high-cost services like highway, parks and police that take advantage of economies of scale with the town and county will remain with those entities. We will continue to utilize those services at the same rate as everyone else in the town and county. We have never proposed taking on these services at the village level.

Next, incorporated villages on Long Island have low tax rates because they control their land-use decisions, which are tied to the highest portion of our taxes—local school districts. Higher density drives the need for more services, resulting in higher taxes. The highest tax rates in the Town of Southampton are not in the villages but in the unincorporated areas of Eastport, Flanders/Riverside, Hampton Bays and East Quogue.

Finally, incorporated villages are all managed differently to provide the services their residents want. Our approach seeks to protect our local character through limits on density and code enforcement with a volunteer, elected board, a legally required village clerk, and part-time contracted staff for building and code enforcement. The complete proposed budget is posted at our website, eqvillageexploratorycommittee.com. This budget shows that the average household would pay an additional $50 a year in taxes to gain local control.

With local representation, we can decide our community character and land use while avoiding partisan politics, all at minimal cost to our residents.

We invite you to participate in the democratic process of deciding for yourself if incorporation is right for East Quogue by getting the facts.

We ask the Civics to please provide facts and stop spreading misinformation.

Karen Kooi

Dave Celi Co-Chairs

East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee

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