14 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • JANUARY 2020
POINT OF VIEW
TAX CREEP SLOW HIKES HURT
By STEVE LEVY
President of Common Sense Strategies
and former Suffolk County executive
If you want to know why taxes on
Long Island are so high, pay attention
to tax creep. It’s the $20 here and $30
there that add up to almost $1,000 in
higher taxes annually.
How many times have we heard that
there’s no reason to fret; the proposed
increase on that new bond is only $20
That’s what taxpayers in one district
heard when a new library was built.
That’s another $240 a year, before
they’ve even factored in their school’s
operational increases. A typical 3 percent
increase for a guy like me comes
out to about an additional $218.
That’s on top of the extra $140 for the
recent school bond that passed on the
theory that it was only another $12 per
When Suffolk County police got their
latest contract, we were told it’s only
$35 more a year. This, while the town
was saying its modest general fund increase
was only another $18.50 a year.
The Suffolk County Water Authority
is going to take a certain
chemical out of its system? Rejoice,
it’s only going to be an extra $80
annually. That doesn’t include
the usual increases for general
operations. And there’s the other
county initiative floated to take
another $300 annually for more
“water cleaning” programs? Not to
mention the $21,000 they want some
to spend to replace our cesspools.
Meanwhile, New York State is giving us
offshore windmills, while we continue
to pay to subsidize inefficient upstate
nuke plants. Another $30 a year for
that. That’s on top of National Grid’s
increase of $38 approved for 2020. By
the way, the utility is presently asking
for another hike of almost $100.
Look also to your cell phone bill,
where in New York, taxes comprise
28 percent of the bill. The average is
$260 per year, up from $229.
The $20 here and $30 there just added
up to a whopping $813 theft from our
pockets on these items alone.
Former Senate Floor Leader Everett
Dirksen once said, “A billion here,
a billion there, pretty soon, you’re
talking about real money.” Same for
the local level. $20 here. $30 there.
Soon you’re talking about a grand in
extra taxes and fees.
And they wonder why we are leaving?
“$20 here. $30 there. Soon you’re talking about
a grand in extra taxes and fees.”