Clarkstown Board Asked To Reconsider Tax Hike

Taxes rising out of control


Dear Editor, Mr. Gromack and the Town of Clarkstown Board:

I was extremely upset and disappointed when I read of your override of Governor Cuomo's 2% Tax Cap on Property Taxes. Instead, you all voted for a 6.2 % tax increase for the homeowners of Clarkstown.

I recently moved into West Nyack (August 2012) from Bedford, NY. What was one of the main reasons for moving from Westchester to Rockland? Property taxes that were too high to be affordable for the average working family. So now that we have moved to Rockland, we see the same problem with taxes rising out of control.

Governor Cuomo proposed the 2% cap because he realizes that working families are struggling too hard to keep their homes, and taxes just cannot keep going up every year. You will force homeowners to sell their homes, and who will be able to buy a home with exorbitant property taxes?

You as a Board  need to be fiscally responsible to the citizens of your town and hold the tax increase to 2% as the Governor has proposed. I hope you will reconsider your decision and work for the benefit of the residents of the town of Clarkstown.

Meryl Fern
West Nyack

Michael N. Hull November 14, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Meryl: You should have moved to Orangetown where Stewart thinks that the public's views are important. He got his budget down from 15% to 4.9%. http://newcity.patch.com/articles/orangetown-2013-budget-4-9-tax-increase-even-with-last-minute-changes Gromack holds Orangetown up negatively to that of Clarkstown. You won't hear him mentioning Orangetown now. Gromack will take $2 million out of the Town's 'rainy day' fund in 2013 so he can avoid raising taxes by another 1.6%. Because he is up for election next year he will not tell taxpayers that his effective tax rate is 9.0% - 6.2% that the Board voted, 1.2% that he 'saved' with a school surcharge, and 1.6% that he 'saved' out of the Town's reserve fund. That's the true tax number for 2013, 9.0%. We will not pay it this year but Gromack will leave us holding the bag in future years when he leaves office. Knowing the fiscal state of the Town, Gromack and the Board succumbed to blackmail and gave the police a net 13% raise over the next 5 years at 2.5%/year for the life of the contract. That is fiscal mis-management given that police costs are over 30% of the Town's budget. http://newcity.patch.com/blog_posts/not-yet-bankrupt-just-insolvent Further, Clarkstown is a nest of patronage cronies feathering their nests at your expense. http://www.lohud.com/article/20120823/OPINION/308230035/Editorial-Clarkstown-puts-political-clout-before-all-else-hiring-Frank-Sparaco
Z November 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Last year, I did not vote for Gromack but so many did. C'mon people, take a look at what he said before the election last November 2011 and look at what he is doing now. "Clarkstown has been repeatedly rated as one of the 100 best places to live in the U.S. and one of the safest Towns in the nation. I have created a $15 million tax stabilization fund, earned the Town a AAA Bond rating from Standard and Poor’s, saving millions in interest charges, and kept our property tax rate below 2% for three years (1.6% in 2010, 0% in 2011 and proposed .8% in 2012). In fact, the 2012 budget fell below the Governor's mandated 2% tax cap despite the many challenges and increasing costs the Town is facing. Other municipalities across the county, state and nation have been forced to significantly raise property taxes and make drastic cuts in services to residents. However, as Supervisor I have been able, through sound and financial management, government consolidation and responsible job attrition, to maintain Clarkstown's quality services to residents while stabilizing property taxes." Now that he was reelected he puts this burden on the taxpayers. Shame on you, Mr. Gromack and the whole board!
Kevin Roy November 14, 2012 at 01:46 PM
How to we find a qualified candidate to run against Gromack next year?
VinnyfromCongers November 14, 2012 at 01:56 PM
You can't. Even if you found one, the republican party will give just enough effort in public to make it look like a contest. In private they will still deal with Gromack and Lettre . It's called business as usual.
we can visit the animal shelter off rt 45...there should be at least a few great candidates who value people!!!!!!!!and with 4 legged politicans we will get more stability
Barry S November 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Kevin, we had one - Ralph Sabatini - who ran against Gromack but the back room deals from the 'republican bosses' Vinnie Reda, Frank sparaco and Frank Borelli - did everything they could to make sure Gromack stayed in place - Sparaco was rewarded for his efforts with a $75000 yr part time job - on the clarkstown tax payers.backs.
what is astonishing is NO one...Nada..Zippo....is standing up as a man and recomending that we only have 1 ..ONE-UNO...of all services for all of rockland and its mini--tiny towns..how come when there is a fire of larger proportions all the fire departments combine their resources to fight the fire????????it does work people..so there is NO-REASON IT WOULDNT WORK FOR THE POLICE AND HIGHWAY AND SCHOOLS ....looking around at the over the top who gives a "s....t about the taxpayers in clarkstown we have a "part-timer for 75,000 a year to answer road calls???????and a clerk of the works who is paid over 160,000 and got a raise?????by the way does his son still work for the town? and we used to have "A TOWN CLERK WHO MADE CLOSE TO 120,000" when I am in westchester and I mention where Ilive...the response is" that place??????everyone knows that this area has become the joke of mis-managment goverment..everyone asks the cops get what there? close to 200,000? the end result is "LESS PEOPLE WANTING TO MOVE TO THIS COUNTY...GREAT WORK !!!
steve smith November 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM
what is the purpose for the FBI?
Joe Ciardullo November 14, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I agree with Barry S. If anyone knows of someone who would like to run for this office, please let me know. If people would vote the person, not the party, we may have a chance to change things, but unfortunately, many people that vote are uninformed, they vote the party line or vote based on name recognition. They must enjoy paying these outrageous taxes. WE are getting close to our own fiscal cliff here in Rockland and Clarkstown.
Tom November 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM
You think it's bad now? Just wait until the real work starts on the new bridge, then our elected officials will line their pockets a la Mayor Quimby on "The Simpsons", they must be salivating already. I can't wait to see the invented positions for "liaisons" and "monitors" and "advocates" that the town creates for the next generation of nepotism and cronyism, and oh the incredible amount of added overtime for our police force and highway department, so they can maintain our small town feel (and it's rich history of corruption). I have a plan...let my kids finish school in Clarkstown, then get the heck out! Leave the rats to fight for every scrap they can appropriate, eventually the state or fed will come in and clean house.
elizabeth November 16, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Please don't commend Orangetown for "only" raising our taxes by 4.9%! We should have stayed within the tax cap, too! Our budget has PLENTY of fat, as well! Cuomo needs to take the override option out of the tax cap! Don't you see, the politicians owe their positions to campaign donations, and refuse to mention the word "layoffs" for fear of losing their constituents.
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