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Letter: Much Ado About Taxes

Regarding John Venditto and the Town of Oyster Bay piercing the property tax cap for the second year in a row:  


Supervisor Venditto and the one-party town board have raised the town portion of property taxes by over 50% in the last 11 years. There have been 9 town tax raises in those 11 years.  During that same period Town debt has ballooned nearly 1000% to $1 billion dollars. Under Venditto’s watch every tax dollar and borrowing opportunity has been squeezed out of residents. And he has the gall to run on the sham 3rd party “Tax Revolt” line last November.  Where is the tea party? ...Crickets.


Last year Venditto and the Town Board were faced with their eighth budget deficit in as many years, forcing them to sell valuable public lands along the LIE at a deep discount in a rapid cash grab to shore up town finances right before an election.  That money is gone, less than a year later. This July the town was forced to borrow $30 million in emergency funds just to make payroll because cash reserves were completely depleted. Then, to add insult to injury Supervisor Venditto handed out $620,500 in raises to political appointees later that same month - after borrowing to meet payroll. 


Now, as summer vacations are in full swing, the Town of Oyster Bay decided that this would be the best time to hold a public hearing, at 10am on a Tuesday, on piercing the tax cap. If you wanted to minimize public involvement to the extreme and slip by authorization to pierce the town tax cap for the second year in a row, this would be how to do it.  If John Venditto pierces the town tax cap he will forfeit the town property tax rebates for residents promised by Governor Cuomo to towns that stay below the cap. While neighboring town residents are receiving rebate checks in the mail, TOB residents will once again be left out to dry. 


Let me be the first to tell him - the well is dry. We have no more tax dollars to send to Oyster Bay and we cannot afford to borrow any more money and increase our debt.  Do not override the tax cap Mr. Venditto. 


Brendan Mahoney