The Board of the Concerned Citizens Association of Farmingdale (CCAF) has submitted a letter to local legislators stating their concerns, following a with residents.
The letter was sent to New York State Senators Kemp Hannon and Charles Fuschillo and Assemblymen James Conte and Joseph Saladino.
In the letter, the CCAF Board discussed the continued burden of high property taxes in Farmingdale, stating that "being number one in this category is nothing to be proud of."
The group said in the past few years they have provided forums for discussion on local issues and have found that the main cost driver of high property taxes keeps coming back to the cost of funding public school education.
"Residents continue to lose careers and fall into foreclosure, young people continue to leave LI and business move to other states.," the letter says. "We do not see enough action being taken by our NYS elected officials."
The letter discusses the dialogue at the May meeting.
"We had seniors, high school students and all ages in between in attendance and all were clear that something must be done now to help reduce this tax burden," the Board wrote."People did more than just complain, we discussed and debated a few potential ideas. A tax cap by itself is out of sequence, other things need to be addressed first."
The group is proposing four ideas for the legislators to consider:
- Reduce and/or eliminate costly unfunded NYS mandates.
- Revise the mandated pension system. There are no more guarantees. Everyone must chip into a 401K style system. Increase contributions into the medical benefits system. Both will reduce the impact on taxpayers.
- Scrap the current funding formula and create a new simple income based value for funding the core educational costs. Treat each student across NYS as an equal valuable asset and fund each in equal $$ per student for each school district. The balance can be covered by local decisions.
- Then consider a tax freeze, followed by a thought out tax cap. A cap means just that, capping all school costs no exceptions.
The group concluded the letter by proposing this question to the legislators: What are you are thinking and what you are will be doing to help provide real tax relief now?
"Our members believe that more must be done, the proposed tax cap is only a band-aide to slow growth," the letter says. "We need to reduce spending and we need to do it now. "
View a full copy of the letter in the photo gallery.