City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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E. J. McMahon
Overburdened « Back to Story

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Because of caps on the amount the "taxable assessment" of single family houses may increase in any year the effective tax rates on single family homes vary widely. Owners of homes in gentrifying brownstone neighborhoods pay less in taxes than owners of homes in areas where homes are worth only a small percentage of what the homes in gentrified areas are worth.
B. Samuel Davis is almost correct when he wonders whether the citizens who vote these politicians into office don't deserve what they get. The correct statement, though, is that New Yorkers, like Californians, do, indeed, deserve the governments they elect. I suppose that New Yorkers (even the heavily taxed rich ones) buy into Bloomberg's b.s. about living in NYC being a luxury--a luxury that is fairly taxed at exhorbitant rates just so New Yorkers can feel privileged to live there. But if that's the kind of garbage New Yorkers are willing to buy, then let them have it. Such a mindset only proves that there really is no correlation between riches and brains (or, at least, between riches and commonsense).
Interesting analysis with sensible suggestions, but what really needs to happen is that the City's spending needs to be put in check. But,with the City being in the belly of the liberal Democrat media beast, the chances of less spending are remote, especially since with the end of the Bloomberg era, we once again go back to public union backed Democratic candidates.

Look at the City's population statistics - in 1940, New York City had by far the highest popoulation in the country, with 7.5 million people. By 1990, roughly the beginning of the Giuliani administration, the Ciy had lost about 300,000 residents even as the rest of the country was growing by leaps and bounds. Under the wise (certainly in comparison to their Democratic counterparts) stewardships of Guiliani and Bloomberg, by 2010 the City had grown by another approximately 800,000 residents.

What is mystifying is that City residents would even consider putting their future into the hands of a political party that has shown that it can't be trusted to govern - anywhere. Why hasn't Giuliani ever been given credit for his magnificent work in turning around a city that was plunging into the abyss? Certainly if he had not stopped the decline he would have been given all the blame. It makes one wonder how people can be so unmindful of reality, so utterly disconnected and so readily and easily misled that they would entrust their future to a political party that by every avalable yardstick has shown that it is incapable of doing anything other than putting the City back on a course that will eventually lead to its decline and ruin. It's as if what has happened since 1993 has been by magic - people quickly forget the discomforts of high crime, the constant racial tensions, financial crisis after financial crisis, and the inability of Democrats to do anything positive, even clean up Times Square, for decade upon decade.

It boggles the mind that any City resident would seek to return to ineffective, corrupt governance, but that is precisely where we are headed. It makes one wonder if the people who would make such decisions on their future leadership deserve what they get, that those who would vote for a return to the old bad ways should get no synmpathy when taxes increase to even more confiscatory levels, when crime returns with a vengence, when corruption, legal and illegal becomes once again the norm, and when racial tensions are stoked by people who benefit from racial hatred.

In this election season, New Yorkers, like Scrooge, somehow need to meet the ghosts of New York City, past, present and future, since the course, as I see it, is clearly very bleak indeed.
And EJ does not mention utility rates and the taxes embedded therein. Without rapacious "hidden" city real property and gross receipts taxes, ConEd and other utilities might seem like a bargain compared to other other locations.