Vince Rua is a Man of Action
CITY OF KINGSTON TAX SCAM
Have Homeowners’ Taxes Really Decreased?
Assessments have increased from 4-12% for most this year. The overall blended increase per the budget is 8.5% for Homeowners or “Homestead”. But Homeowner’s City Tax rates only declined by 7% from 9.73% to 9.05%. Do the math…(a x b = c) if a goes up 10% but b only goes down 7%, C will NOT stay flat!
Do the math on your assessment and you should, unfortunately and contrary to our Mayor’s misleading press releases, see an increase!
Have Commercial Property Owners’ Taxes Really Decreased?
According to the Kingston City School District’s Accounting Department, Commercial Property Owners or “Non-Homestead” paid $16.3 million School Taxes in the 2018-19 year, but when Mayor Noble took office, they paid $14 million!
The facts, voters, are that the Mayor’s shenanigans to increase our assessments each year have resulted in Business Owners actually paying $2.3 million more in School Taxes annually!
Can Kingston’s Taxes be Lowered?
Our tax levy is determined via the Mayor’s budget which projects expenses and revenues. The “plug” number or variable is “tax levy”. If the budget is accurate, taxes are collected, bills are paid, and we start over.
Each year, the City’s numbers are audited by outside CPA’s like me. Audits of 2017 & 2018 disclosed mistakes in the City’s budgets. These added up to $5.2 million!
The Mayor has overstated The City’s estimated expenses and understated his non-tax revenues (e.g. sales taxes, grants, fees). This resulted in a “surplus” of $5.2 million which could and should have been returned to we the taxpayers. Instead, our Mayor has spent OUR excess tax dollars on “extra paving” in an election year and purchasing Planet Wings for $450,000!
This is unacceptable, deceitful, and lacking in any transparency.
Are you on the Mayor’s Pay-to-Play List?
Many homeowners had 10% or more increases in assessments this year, and similar increases since he took office.
Mayor Noble: NO assessment change 2017-18!
Mayor Noble’s Dad: NO assessment changes since taking office- only 5% this year!
Mayor Noble’s Close Adviser and lead Facebook Provocateur- Tom Hoffay: NO assessment changes first three years in office!
County Democratic Treasurer/Donor- Bought home for $515,000 (2005). Assessed at $359,000 without change, till sold 7/20/19 for $720,000. This year’s increase? 4%! Seems like a lot of tax savings for a Noble Patron?
Two sitting Alderpersons & the City Democratic Party’s Co-Chair have homes assessed below purchase price!
Selective Re-Valuations will cease if you choose me to be your Mayor!
NEW PILOT GUIDELINES
As a result of advocates like Vince Rua, the Ulster County Economic Development Agency rearranged its voting members with the hope that tax breaks will no longer be used as political favors…but be based on empirically quantifiable and justifiable reasoning including new job creation.
And now, the Mayor is trying to circumvent the new County IDA by establishing his own IDA…to ensure tax breaks go to his pet projects whether they create new, sustainable jobs for future generations…or not!
He led the charge to end the dirty deal involving a proposed PILOT for the glorious Alms House which is on the National Historic Register.
His hands-on research revealed that this sweetheart deal our current Mayor supported for his campaign contributors would enrich them to the tune of as much as $16 million for creating just 5-10 jobs over 32 years!
As Vince investigated this project, other troubling details came to the surface. Among them, the Alms House was being purchased far below current market value…with NO objections from Kingston’s Mayor! The City’s Planning Board, ultimately agreed with Vince’s advocacy and denied the developer’s plans for this property as had the City’s Common Council in denying the developer’s request for a zoning change. Only repeated law suits left unchallenged by the City’s Corporation Counsel (who serve at the pleasure of the Mayor) allowed this project to continue.
Vince questioned the Mayor’s 2017 proposed budget as taking Kingston dangerously close to the brink of bankruptcy. The Mayor responded that his fund balance was not as low as Vince had reported to the Daily Freeman, but rather a higher number due to “an accounting error in the City’s audited financials from 2016”.
This same mayor’s 2017 budget was revealed to be off by almost $2.75 million due to other inaccuracies! This resulted in the Mayor setting Kingston’s property tax levy $2.75 million higher than necessary.
The same thing was just revealed for 2018…although not quite as clearly as above. In 2018, the Mayor proposed a budget calling for a tax levy of another $17 million to cover a proposed deficit of $1.28 million…but…we now know the actual results for 2018 were a surplus of $1.1 million…or another correction of budgeting errors of almost $2.4 million. This resulted in Kingston’s property taxes being set $2.4 million higher than needed.
The current mayor has charged Kingston taxpayers over $5 million more than necessary in the last two years! Then, outside of the budget process he asks for and gets approved the acquisition of Planet Wings for $450,000 almost MORE than its assessed land value…to use as a park and take OFF the tax rolls! (Explaining to his Common Council that this will “not cost the City a penny…because it is coming out of Fund Balance”.) Well…it is our tax dollars and I will reverse this deceptive trend.
Our current mayor’s policy of decreasing public parking rather than increasing parking continues to negatively impact retailers, restaurants and other commercial business interests throughout the city. His newest plan to charge for weekend parking has made a bad situation worse. I will eliminate parking fees from Friday to Sunday in Kingston…period…and study our parking needs further from there!