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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.

Marion Knott October 26, 2012 at 03:29 PM
In reading some of the comments I noted a complaint about the H'way Dept. We are usually here when the snows come and our highway dept. is second to none. Neighboring districts don't come close. Just felt I had to speak up for the Highway people.
Jim Bennett October 26, 2012 at 03:41 PM
$50 a year? If my school taxes only go up 10 times that much I'll consider myself lucky.
bitchin October 26, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I have lived in Commack/Smithtown my entire life. With yet another increase will my street ever get re-paved? I have been complaining for years and all I get in BS from the town supervisor and the superintendent. I want my street repaved.
KB October 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Every time you see these highway guys they are slipped away taking another break or on there cell phones. What about how much our library taxes went up the last 10 years, they have doubled. Why did we have to gut every library, what was wrong with the old ones???
bitchin October 26, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Kids in fear of getting hurt in the street. It is terrible that it has to be like this. I would be in favor if I just didn't get the political runaround everyrtime I call. Ridciulous.
Marion Knott October 26, 2012 at 06:37 PM
The library for years was a Town Library and then the Library decided to become "independent." You vote on the Library now and you never had to before.
Ann October 26, 2012 at 08:11 PM
You are absolutely right - my thoughts exactly on both topics
Ann October 26, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Not nice calling people idiots - this wa smy opinion and I am not forcing it on anyone
gregory orishak October 26, 2012 at 08:15 PM
How are those of us on fixed retirement incomes supposed to keep up with all these tax increases? Will someone please answer me! Have lived here since 1956 in The Branch...don't get me started on The Branch and the ridiculous Village tax I have to pay for less services.
JTZ October 26, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Yes. I live in Huntington Township and Smithtown Highway does a much better job than Huntington does.
UncommonSense October 26, 2012 at 11:03 PM
cut all the property taxes in Smithtown in half. then people who live here who work as teachers or for the town will be able to afford to pay thier health insurance them selves. I'm paying over $1,000 a month in school and local taxes. if I had half of that to pump back into the local economy maybe some of the businesses on Main street would be able to make a living and in return, pay some taxes back into the system.
WOODY11780 October 27, 2012 at 03:32 AM
THE TOWN BOARD MEETING IN QUESTION, LASTED LESS THAN THAN 15 MINUITES, & ONLY 4 RESIDENTS SPOKE ON THE SUBJECT,......I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE PATCH REPORTER / EDITOR.....HOW DID LOCALS ''BLAST'' ANYONE WITH SUCH A POOR TURN OUT AT THE VERY SHORT MEETING ??.....OR IS THIS ARTICLE EXAGGERATED......THE MEETING CAN BE SEEN / VIEWED ONLINE TO SHOW THE FACTS ON THE SMITHTOWN WEBSITE
WOODY11780 October 27, 2012 at 03:39 AM
IF YOU REMEMBER ....WE VOTED ''NO'' TO REBUILD THE LIBRARYS.....BUT ''SOME'' WERE UNHAPPY WITH THAT, & ANOTHER VOTE WAS HELD, & PASSED......THE VOTERS DID IT.....JUST LIKE THE SCHOOL BUDGETS.....ANYTHING FOR THE KIDDIES
Ann October 27, 2012 at 04:02 AM
teachers get paid well - they can afford to pay their own health insurance as well as the town workers - not necessary for people who don't work for these areas to pay for your health benefits.
Marion Knott October 27, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Libraries are for everyone. Books, computers, programs for literacy. I don't know if they needed the modernization but I do know that libraries are an important part of my life.
Nesconset Dude October 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Woody, you make a very good point. Blast them during the next couple of election cycles then.
Mike October 27, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Smithtown is a dream compared to the surrounding communities. Look around. Multiple family dwellings , crime rates soaring , municipal layoffs (do more with less, really) and the gang and drug problems. Borrowing and emergency bonds are not the answer. We live here and will have to pay our way , evenly. Lets enjoy it , we are Lucky to be here.
Mr-Chernomyrdin-Esq October 28, 2012 at 09:46 AM
I second that. The current superintendent has gone above and beyond his predecessor.
Monica McNamara October 29, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Do the math and tell me if you can find a single home in town with an assessed value of $5500! I love how the try to dumb down the math so people will say I guess it's not that bad. Revotes for unpasses budgets that's a crime and shouldn't be allowed. I am tired of more taxes we simply can't afford anymore business' are closing and people are looking to leave. Is there anyone in the town in a position of power that can stop this or does anyone even care anymore?
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WOODY11780 December 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM
IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO BE EDUCATED BEFORE YOU COMMENT
TM December 07, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Homeowners in Brentwood pay close to if not higher rates of property taxes as Smithtown homeowners. The amount one pays is proportionate to the lot size and square footage of the home long with other taxable real property such as swimming pools. Houses in S town are bigger and have more property so they would pay more. Schools aid is provided on a matching grant type of system, so districts with higher taxes get more aid. Much of this money comes from lottery sales which is not distributed proportionately to where he tickets are purchased. They are a subsidy to upper middle cass school districts by poorer communities where the tickets are purchased. Vilanizing poor people is not the answer. Teachers have the most important job in our society..What do you think they should make?
Paul January 19, 2013 at 12:44 AM
I am amused at how much bitching and moaning about real estate taxes. No one likes to pay taxes, lets be honest, with that being said, Who cares what your individual issues are or if your on a fixed income, you want fairness and to be alike everyone else , you want socialism, move to Cuba ! I have lived in smithtown for 16 years and I believe that the taxes are fair for what you get. I grew up in nassau county . In towns like hicksville and massapequa it not uncommon to pay 9000 to 12000 tax a year to live on a 60 x 100 lot so be happy or move to another state and live like a hillbilly.
Argile January 19, 2013 at 01:18 AM
I've been living here just as long but the property taxes are not sustainable. Especially the school taxes. And you're wrong. There are lower income school districts that get the same services and pay much less property taxes. I've posted their budgets many times here on the patch. Long Island was thriving up till the 90's and now it's not. Much more blight even in towns like ours. If that's not a wakeup call then I don't know what is. But if you want to live with your blinders on in your fairtytail land paying $12,000 in taxes a year in a 1500 square foot house on less than a 1/4 of an acre then enjoy cause you're gonna be one of the few left here to pay for it all.
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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