Talking Taxes - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1554560

Talking Taxes

It has been my honor to serve as town supervisor for the past four years. I work hard every day for our seniors and hardworking families. Regarding property taxes, some say that I’m responsible for increased assessments. I would like to correct this misinformation.

First of all, I do not reassess anyone. The independent tax assessor is the individual who assesses properties. Second, it’s usually a good thing that property values are going up. We’ve done a good job preserving our area and keeping you safe. Lots of people want to own a home here, and that pushes prices up.

The assessor may adjust the value of your home for tax purposes — but that does not mean you will pay more in taxes.

Your taxes are calculated by multiplying the value of your home by the tax rate. If the property value increases, the tax rate can be lowered so that the resulting tax is still the same after the multiplication. That is why for the past four years I have lowered the tax rate significantly to offset increases in home value, with a 6 percent tax rate cut scheduled for next year. This means that the actual amount homeowners pay in taxes remains stable.

For the average homeowner, this 6 percent cut in the tax rate will undo the increase in assessed valuation. Some homeowners will see an actual decrease in their town tax bill.

Every year, I’ve stayed within the governor’s 2 percent tax cap. That tells you that the amount of money collected from property taxes townwide has not increased by more than 2 percent per year. That is just enough to keep pace with inflation, meet contractual obligations, and provide the town the revenue it needs to run various departments like the police, parks and public works.

Southampton Town has the lowest tax rate of any town in New York State, according to the Empire Center, an independent, nonpartisan Albany-based think tank. A similar valued home in any other community in New York State likely would be paying a lot more in property taxes.

This is my 20th consecutive year in elected office where I have delivered a budget without increasing property tax rates. I have also been a leader on environmental protection and addressing community needs like public transportation and affordable housing.

I ask for your vote on November 5.

Jay Schneiderman

Supervisor

Southampton Town

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