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Over 60...and Getting Younger: October 30, 2009

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 30 October 2009 00:00

75!

Stan, you are 75 years old!

You have lived through five wars, served in the United States Army, have three children and six grandchildren. I would have to say you are a lucky guy!

 

From the Desk of Senator Kemp Hannon: October 23, 2009

Written by Senator Kemp Hannon Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00

Call for Repeal of MTA Payroll Tax

Senator Kemp Hannon and members of the Long Island Senate Delegation joined business owners and directors of nonprofit organizations at United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County Oct. 15 to call for the repeal of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) payroll tax. Joining with Senator Hannon were Senators Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., (8th SD), Owen H. Johnson (4th SD), Carl Marcellino (5th SD) and John Flanagan (2nd SD).

Come Nov. 2, thousands of businesses, the self-employed, non-profits and school districts will begin paying part of a $1.5 billion bailout of the MTA through a new tax that will cost them 34 cents per $100 of their payroll retroactive to March 1, 2009. According to the NYS Comptroller’s Office, the impact of the MTA payroll tax on businesses and nonprofits in Nassau is $103.9 million and in Suffolk is $87.9 million. The 12-county region surrounding New York City is required to pay the tax.

Senator Hannon said, “It’s an outrage that taxpayers are expected to carry this heavy burden on their backs in order to bailout the MTA. It’s especially crucial during this tough economic climate that we seek to create jobs and achieve new ways to increase taxpayer savings, but what does Albany do instead? It levies another tax that will force businesses to eliminate jobs and take more money out of the hands of hard working New Yorkers.”

Bob McGuire, executive director of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, who safely estimates that the MTA payroll tax will cost his nonprofit $100,000, said, “In a time where the economy is putting such tremendous stress on all aspects of our lives, placing this added burden on nonprofits is devastating.”

While public school districts are also required to pay the MTA payroll tax, which will further cost Nassau County schools $13.3 million and Suffolk schools $14.7 million, they expect to be reimbursed one year later; however, no guarantees were written into the law. Furthermore, local governments are required to pay without reimbursement further costing Nassau taxpayers $4.9 million and Suffolk taxpayers $4.3 million. Overall, the NYS Comptroller’s Office estimates that this payroll tax will cost Long Islanders $229 million for the 2010 calendar year.

All Democrats in the Senate voted in favor of the tax including two from Long Island, Senators Craig Johnson (7th SD) and Brian X. Foley (3rd SD), while all of Long Island’s Republican Senators and throughout the state voted against it.

Republican Senators voted against the payroll tax drafted by Senate Democrats because they said it raises taxes, can cost jobs, and jeopardizes businesses in the worst economic times. They also noted that the school tax reimbursement is not guaranteed and will further raise local school taxes.

The first installment of the MTA payroll tax, which is one-third of one percent of total payroll, is due Nov. 2 and is retroactive to March 1, 2009, covering a six-month period ending Sept. 30. The next payroll tax payment is due on Feb. 1, 2010.

Richard Bivone, chairman of the LI Business Council, said, “This tax is crippling businesses on Long Island and exemplifies how the system has failed the people of New York. The MTA payroll tax is killing any hope new businesses have to open, while encouraging existing businesses to take the train right off Long Island.”

Jackie Thresher, executive director of the Nassau Library System said, “The estimated cost of the MTA payroll tax to my organization and the 54 public libraries in Nassau County, that are all members of my consortium, is $293,000 for the first full year. Imposing such a tax on publicly supported institutions like libraries is really an additional tax on all Nassau County residents who pay taxes to support library service. This tax was levied on libraries after two years of cuts in state aid, reducing state support of public libraries back to the 1993 level. The state provides the majority of funding for library systems, which allows libraries to provide services in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

“Any tax increase will only exacerbate an already difficult situation.  Simply put, the MTA’s fiscal problems cannot be shouldered by suburban businesses that are already shortchanged by unfair MTA budget allocations, while at the same time experiencing the challenges of a bad economy.”

The payroll tax is just the latest tax hike to hit New Yorkers as a result of the 2009-10 state budget. It follows increases in the costs of driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations that took effect Sept. 1; increases in hunting and fishing license fees that took effect Oct. 1; and the Democrats’ elimination of STAR property tax rebate checks that would have been arriving in mailboxes right now.

 

 

Over 60...and Getting Younger: October 23, 2009

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00

A Hectic Weekend

Lorraine left early on a rainy, windy Saturday morning to accomplish her many tricks of beauty. That evening we were going to my 50 years “Golden Reunion from my NYU Dental School” graduation. It was to be held at the ritzy Water Club on 30th Street and the East River. I passed it many times and I was truly in awe of it. It was the culmination of much planning and much infighting on the planning committee. They day of the glorious night had now arrived.

 

A Bird’s Eye View: October 16, 2009

Written by Michael Givant Friday, 16 October 2009 00:00

Migrating Hawks Ride the Wind

The sun is up a short while, illuminating the dark brown coat of a grazing whitetail deer that turns to look at three humans coming onto Fire Island. Grasses are shimmering in a stiff breeze that will blow all day across this strip of land with a bay on one side and the ocean on the other. I’m with a small group of observers who will be on a platform watching and recording migrating raptors all day.

 

Over 60...and Getting Younger: October 16, 2009

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 16 October 2009 00:00

‘I Was Scammed!’

“Do not – I repeat, do not” open an email from me asking you to be my friend! It is a scam!

You are all my friends, my readers.

I received an email about 10 days ago from a lovely lady in my writing group. She is a kind and wonderful person and she asked me to be her friend. Not wanting to insult her, I followed all the questions until the end. Suddenly, at the end, I saw my entire address book printed out in a long column. I suspected nothing, and then it struck.

 

Over 60...and Getting Younger: October 9, 2009

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 09 October 2009 00:00

Ode to the King of Naked Reverse

Stanley Greenberg may be your favorite columnist, but he’s our father and in honor of his 75th birthday we are giving him the week off. Don’t worry, he’ll be back next week. In the meantime, allow us to introduce you to the Stanley Greenberg you may not know…the Joe Montana of Marshall Lane.

Adam Greenberg: When we were growing up in Westbury – and it was not that long ago - there was a period after school and before dinner, when all the kids in the neighborhood would actually play sports in the street. Nowadays kids are shuttled off to some officially sanctioned football or soccer practice on a nightly basis. I’m not sure what happened, but I rarely see kids gather by themselves for a football game in the street anymore. Organic foods, yes. Organic football games, no.

 

From the Desk of Senator Kemp Hannon: October 2, 2009

Written by Senator Kemp Hannon Friday, 02 October 2009 00:00

Health Fair in Your Backyard

Senator Kemp Hannon is sponsoring his eighth annual Health Fair and Awareness Day on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the David S. Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra University in Uniondale on the north side of campus.

Flu shots, various health screenings and the health information you want to know will all be available as over 90 health providers and health specialists gather at one venue to address your every concern.

 

Over 60...and Getting Younger: October 2, 2009

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 02 October 2009 00:00

The Necessary Unpleasantries of Life

There are daily, minor annoyances that we face as citizens of the world. Some people do not mind them but others revel in them. Examples:

Fasting – Not eating for 24 hours does not seriously affect dieters. “It cleans out your system!” they say. It is an exercise in self-denial. But most individuals love their toasted bagel (and a schmear) and coffee every morning. Feeling holy and repentant is another by-product of fasting. The gnawing, empty sensation tests our ability to persevere but still we carry on. The breaking of a fast is a magical experience. “I did it!” are the words of accomplishment.

 

From the Desk of Senator Kemp Hannon: September 25, 2009

Written by Senator Kemp Hannon Friday, 25 September 2009 10:36

Hannon: We Hope for the Best, But We Need to Be Prepared

Following the 8th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks, Senator Kemp Hannon encourages Long Islanders to review important terrorism safety precautions.

“We hope for the best, but we need to be prepared for the worst,” Senator Hannon said. “The grievous September 11th attacks have demonstrated the crucial importance of planning ahead for disasters and being informed.”

 

Over 60...and Getting Younger: September 25, 2009

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 25 September 2009 10:36

Propaganda!

What do you know about propaganda? I have always been intrigued by this question.

Propaganda is not necessarily a lie, but it does have by definition an element of deception. A propagandist seeks to change the way people understand an issue for the purpose of changing their actions in a way that is beneficial to the propagandist. He wants change through trickery instead of information.

 

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