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Locals Blast Smithtown's Proposed Budget Property Tax Increase

Some say the increase isn't an accurate reflection of Smithtown's real estate market while others say locals won't be able to afford it.

The town board held its public hearing for the proposed 2013 town budget Thursday night with locals and politicians voicing their displeasure with the property tax increase.

Worked into the $103 million proposed budget is a property tax increase that would run homeowners $46.83 a year if the home has an assessed value of $5,500.

Jesse Safer, candidate for the 8th New York State Assembly District, said the increase does not accurately reflect the realities of Smithtown’s real estate market. Safer, who served as a property tax hearing officer in Nassau County for two years, also said that an increase would deter people from staying in or moving to Smithtown.

“Our goal is to retain ownership of the homes in Smithtown, our goal is to attract the home buyer,” he said. “Increasing property taxes, even if there are some reductions, discourages people from buying homes in the Smithtown area.” 

Following the meeting, Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said the property tax increase in the proposed budget is based off of an accurate assessment of Smithtown’s property values. 

Ernie Krauss of Smithtown also voiced concerns over the property tax increase, stating with other potential increases in taxes from the Suffolk County Police Department and Smithtown Fire Department when added to the property tax increase could total around $100, something he feels not all locals could not afford. 

Much of the increase in the 2013 proposed budget is from the $1.8 million due for pensions and hospitalization insurance. The town was able to find a place to save locals money in the Highway Department's snow removal fund. With a surplus in funds from last year, the town was able to reduce snow removal taxes by $10.36 for each homeowner. 

The budget needs to be adopted before Nov. 20.

Paul January 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM
I was just stating a current fact regarding taxes, I live in the real world. I am not saying that the sate of local governemnt is not without problems. However, the state of new york currently has a debt of 63.3 billion dollars and a budget of 132 billion for this year. The pressure on the town and counties taxes comes from state overspending and on to washington. What I am saying is that money is better used efficiently at the local level than at the state and federal governement level. So increases are to be expected . Seen the price of gas , its up 100% in 4 years, no one complains, they just got conditioned to it, the old insanity is the new sanity.
Argile January 19, 2013 at 02:09 AM
I'll give you that. Vecchio did a good job at holding the line against tax increases. Can't say the same for the school. With a 50 billion Medicaid bill and Obamacare around the corner, I expect my paycheck to decrease more than the 6% Social Security tax increase we just got hit with.
WOODY11780 January 19, 2013 at 04:23 AM
This article originated Oct 26th 2012.....Where have you guys been ??
Argile January 19, 2013 at 04:45 AM
There was a blog way before this that generated a ton of posts. Mostly the snobby type attitude of "if you don't like it then leave" attitude. These are the type of people that have blinders on and don't get it. Baldwin in Nassau County was a town very much like Smithtown. Go take a good look and see what high taxes can do to a nice middle class neighborhood.
Ann January 19, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Excuse me - but that's what I am paying now and I've been here over 20 years and we have a right to bitch and moan about our taxes - maybe you can sit back and afford to pay whatever you're paying but there are lots of people who can't - you sound like a self-centered person anyway with a comment like that "who cares about our individual issues or if you're on a fixed income".

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