MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF THE CREEDMOOR CIVIC ASSOCIATION, INC.
Next meeting: December 9 at 8 pm
PROPERTY TAX HIKE: WORSE THAN YOU THINK!
By now you all know about the 18½ percent increase in real estate taxes. But you might not realize that this isn't the whole story.
Real estate taxes are not apportioned equally. There are classes of properties and we all know that homeowners get a break. Utilities do not. Since they are permitted to make a certain amount of profit, expect that their tax increase will be passed on to the ratepayers: that's you. Wait, it gets worse. You've read how there hasn't been a real estate tax increase in a decade. Well, yes and no. Taxes are based on the value of the real estate, and real property values have been skyrocketing for the last number of years, so we've been paying an increase each year anyway. On top of that (you thought we were finished?) because of the law passed some years ago to require the equalization of taxes paid by new homes compared to old homes, there is another upward adjustment made to the taxes of about 6%, so expect your taxes to go up much closer to the 25% the mayor had originally requested since most of us live in homes built in the 1920s.
Was your civic association's voice heard on this issue? Was anyone's voice heard on this issue? There were no public hearings. This was a closed door maneuver, called a budget modification. It didn't require Albany's approval either, that's why it was seized upon as the tax increase of choice.
Absentee landlords will be charged a higher rate than owner-occupied properties. That's the only good thing about the tax change. This change has been supported for years by civic groups as a way of discouraging absentee-landlords because they generally do not maintain properties as well as people who live where they own.
It was decided by the powers that be that a tax increase was preferable to service cuts. That's debatable. There are a lot of questionable services provided by the City, and no matter what anyone says, the City's payroll can be trimmed without damage to those services if it is done selectively, and not across the board. This increase is on top of fees and fines that the City has just raised, and still to come are increases in bridge/tunnel tolls and subway/bus fares.
Most of the City Council voted for the increase, and it can fairly be stated that many felt there was no way out. However, six council members voted no, and according to the New York Post, may suffer retributions in the form of lost perks (member item money?) and even having their districts cut up in re-apportionment, though it seems the lines have largely already been created. What is the point in having 51 council members if they are all required to vote as one? Why is this voting system more legal than the Board of Estimate? A government which invests so much power in the Speaker who is only elected by the voters of one councilmanic district can't be any more constitutional than the Board of Estimate where the borough presidents had equal vote despite the unequal population of the boroughs. And now the Speaker, as a result of November's Charter amendment, is also the president of the City Council! Is this what they call one man, one rule?
BIKE LANE NEWS
The Director of the Bike Program at the Dept of Transportation has agreed that CCA's suggestions to improve the bike lanes on Winchester Blvd at Hillside Ave have merit, and will forward the suggestions to the appropriate parties. These suggestions should help eliminate the traffic bottlenecks that the bike lanes create when cars are attempting to make left turns onto Hillside Avenue.
AROUND THE TOWN
New Neighbors Program: Our Welcome New Neighbor program welcomes incoming homeowners to our community. Second Vice President Rosemary Parker has distributed many packages for over two years now.
We are looking for a volunteer to help Rosemary distribute these packages or to pick up coupons from sponsors. If you'd like to help, please call 718 464-3369.
Condolences to: the family of Josephine Nappi, who passed away last month. She and her husband Eddie were married 60 years, and had lived on Moline Street for 50 years.
Condolences to: the family of Cleave Morgan of 238 St., who passed away last month.
NYC law states that you are not allowed to idle a vehicle for more than three minutes. When using a remote starter for your car in the morning, do not allow it to idle for more than the 3 minutes. It pollutes the air, and the rumble of the engine is most likely annoying to your neighbors, who may still be trying to sleep.
TRAFFIC LIGHT CONSTRUCTION
The planned traffic light at the intersection of 242 St. and Braddock Ave seems to be on schedule. The bases for the lamp posts have been installed, as well as the underground wiring and the relay box. We were originally told by the Dept of Transportation that it should be completed by the end of this month.
HOLIDAY PARTY AT DECEMBER MEETING
The business portion of our December 9 meeting will be short so that the balance of the evening can be devoted to fun and festivities. As we do each year, a collation will be served. We do ask members who attend to bring a desert or snack. Everything else will be provided by the Association. Our local dignitaries have been invited, including Sen. Padavan, Councilman Weprin, and Assemblywoman Clark. They generally do attend, so why don't you as well.
Creedmoor Civic News
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