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Since: Jan 10

ishmael.org

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#1
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Regarding YMCA Tax Exemption issues...

RE: "N OPEN LETTER TO THE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF LITTLE FALLS, AND TO THE MAYOR AND COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LITTLE FALLS"

This letter is in todays paper LF Times -Print edition only.

I can't find the letter on line though it's a "must read", full page "fact sheet" that details the position of the YMCA and asks that you contact the Mayor or your Council Member and voice your support for the YMCA and all of it's community Services, including the Co-Op.
It states that if the YMCA is taxed, services will dwindle.

Does anyone have a link?

If you get the Print edition, stick it to your fridge because it also contains the long lost names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of your Council Reps.
This information is NOT available anywhere else.
Idea

Little Falls, NY

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#2
Jan 7, 2013
 

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lshmaeI wrote:
Regarding YMCA Tax Exemption issues...
If you get the Print edition, stick it to your fridge because it also contains the long lost names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of your Council Reps.
This information is NOT available anywhere else.
Maybe Bobby should ask the YMCA to manage the City website? I am sure the competent YMCA staff could manage to keep it updated with current information. And then Bobby could tax the YMCA for running a website.

That seems to be the gist of the letter: the City is now taxing the non-profits that are providing services to the City. Bobby really IS trying to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Huh

Little Falls, NY

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#3
Jan 7, 2013
 

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lshmaeI wrote:
Regarding YMCA Tax Exemption issues...
RE: "N OPEN LETTER TO THE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF LITTLE FALLS, AND TO THE MAYOR AND COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LITTLE FALLS"
This letter is in todays paper LF Times -Print edition only.
I can't find the letter on line though it's a "must read", full page "fact sheet" that details the position of the YMCA and asks that you contact the Mayor or your Council Member and voice your support for the YMCA and all of it's community Services, including the Co-Op.
It states that if the YMCA is taxed, services will dwindle.
Does anyone have a link?
If you get the Print edition, stick it to your fridge because it also contains the long lost names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of your Council Reps.
This information is NOT available anywhere else.
I read the letter. I agree with it. The city needs to back down and stop trying to tax the non-profits. And boy oh boy I'll bet all those people who signed that letter are gonna get a property tax increase this year!

“Care Enough To Take Action”

Since: Jan 08

Indian Trail, NC

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#4
Jan 7, 2013
 

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If Little Falls is as vindictive as many of you have indicated...
Why would you actually continue to live there?

I can't imagine it is vindictive and petty.
BUT, if YOU believe it...
Act on it...
FLEE!
oh yeah

Herkimer, NY

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#5
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Huh wrote:
<quoted text>
I read the letter. I agree with it. The city needs to back down and stop trying to tax the non-profits. And boy oh boy I'll bet all those people who signed that letter are gonna get a property tax increase this year!
You'd better believe that. Anyone who signs that letter or that petition is going to have their assessments raised. Guaranteed.
Agree

Herkimer, NY

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#6
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Huh wrote:
<quoted text>
I read the letter. I agree with it. The city needs to back down and stop trying to tax the non-profits. And boy oh boy I'll bet all those people who signed that letter are gonna get a property tax increase this year!
This entire episode demonstrates that the City is using the tax assessments improperly. Those who signed the letter and petition need to be prepared for the inevitable retaliation. The proper response would be a class-action lawsuit against the City when they launch their counter-attack via increased assessments.
Text Part 1

Brooklyn, NY

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#7
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Despite more than a century of cooperative efforts between the City of Little Falls and the Little Falls YMCA, the City has proposed to tax YMCA properties and programs. That move is inconsistent with the City’s previous support and encouragement of the YMCA’s programs, and directly in conflict with the City’s invitation that the YMCA join with the City in applications for City grants for some of the same programs it suddenly decided to tax.
This endeavor by the City is not only unwise and inconsistent with previous support, the resulting litigation is very expensive to both the YMCA and the City, it dampens community spirit, and if implemented will seriously, if not fatally, harm the ability of the YMCA to offer programs and services to the City and its residents.
Importantly, the properties and programs the City has now decided to tax were never on the tax rolls to begin with, since they were acquired from Churches and charitable organizations. And the YMCA’s use of the properties for its charitable mission not only continues the charitable use of the properties, it actually expands the charitable uses for the benefit of all area residents.
As Friends of the Little Falls Family YMCA, we make this urgent request that you contact “City Hall” as soon as possible and urge that they withdraw the expensive, damaging and poorly conceived idea that they should generate income by taxing their own partner in community service. There is no more logical justification for the City’s attempt to tax the YMCA’s contributions to this City than there is for the City to tax itself for the operations of the municipal golf course and clubhouse.
THE CITY’S ACTION REVERSES A CENTURY OF COOPERATION:
The Little Falls YMCA was incorporated and began its charitable operations in this City in 1883, more than a decade before the City of Little Falls received its Charter in 1895. For more than 125 years the YMCA has served this City. But now it's the operations face a serious threat from an unexpected source: our own City Government.
Although the YMCA’s charitable status has never been challenged in its entire history, the City has now decided to undo more than a century of cooperation and good will by questioning programs and services offered by the YMCA which have been previously accepted, endorsed, praised, and heralded as beneficial to the City for more than 15 years.
Let’s see if we’ve got this straight? The City wants to tax the YMCA for offering programs and services that benefit the City and its residents – services that ultimately save the City money because it does not have to provide them.
In an effort to retain its property tax exemptions, the YMCA shared substantial information and engaged in several discussions with City officials – all to no avail. In the end, the YMCA was forced to resort to litigation, which has cost the YMCA even more money. We have no idea how much the City is spending in this endeavor, but we don’t believe that the City’s efforts to tax YMCA owned and operated property are well conceived, nor is it a wise use of the City’s limited fiscal resources. In fact, the end result will be even more expensive to both, and if the City gets its way, the YMCA’s ability to offer programs and services to the City and its residents will be very seriously, if not fatally, harmed.
Text Part 2

Brooklyn, NY

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#8
Jan 7, 2013
 

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THE YMCA MISSION:
The Little Falls YMCA, like thousands of YMCA’s across the County, is recognized by the IRS as a qualified charitable 501(c)(3) organization. Its mission is to improve the moral and mental well being of the men, women and children of this City by providing recreational, residential, instructional and healthy living programs that have served as a critical and important resource for the residents of this City. The YMCA also serves as the City’s hub for community functions, family activities, and youth, adolescent, adult, and senior citizen programs. Many of the YMCA’s programs have been offered in cooperation with City and County agencies, State agencies, other charitable organizations, and the City School District.
LOW INCOME HOUSING:
The YMCA’s charitable purpose has always included as a substantial component a low income community housing program. The YMCA building itself was constructed, designed and maintained for more than 100 years for the purpose of providing supportive residential facilities for persons in need. More recently, in the early 1990s, the YMCA, in cooperation with the City of Little Falls, agreed to expand its residency and low income housing program when the City asked the YMCA to join the City’s applications for HUD Block Grant and Community Housing Development funds from the federal government. These funds resulted in the acquisition of low income and community service facilities on Furnace Street (the former Sacred Heart Church and Rectory), the renovation of the YMCA residencies at 15 Jackson Street, and the development of the Senior Citizen Center on Main Street, which included emergency and transitional housing. In those applications, the City itself certified the need for such housing and community services in the City of Little Falls. Also, in connection with the City and YMCA application for residential and facility improvements at Jackson Street, the YMCA undertook a major capital improvement project, including an addition to the YMCA building, the acquisition of adjoining property on Garden Street from the HARC, which is also used in the community low income housing program. But the City, in an abrupt, and we believe unjustified turn-around, has decided some arbitrarily selected functions are taxable.
Text Part 2

Brooklyn, NY

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#9
Jan 7, 2013
 

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I also posted "Part 1" and it already got deleted. I'm not going to bother trying to post the rest. Good luck.
Text Part 3

Brooklyn, NY

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#10
Jan 7, 2013
 

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THE YMCA AS A COMMUNITY PARTNER:
Such actions by the City are very hard to understand. The Little Falls YMCA has always been a “silent partner” with the City in providing all kinds of services to the community: YMCA staff and volunteers train the City Lifeguards for the City pool; the YMCA Pool offers many community programs; the YMCA pool substituted for the City pool when it was closed by the Department of Health; YMCA facilities are used by the School District for programs and athletic activities, and were used to provide additional classroom space; the YMCA cooperates with almost every City wide recreational and sports program; it cooperates extensively with the City Recreation Commission; the YMCA offers instructional programs, youth programs and after-school programs throughout the year. The YMCA offers specialized programs for families, for youth, for adolescents, for adults and for senior citizens. The YMCA also offers guidance, instruction, equipment and programs for a huge range of healthy family and individual activities. All of these activities are in furtherance of the YMCA’s charitable mission. A complete listing of the YMCA services and programs would cover two additional pages. Finally, the YMCA has acted as a pivotal partner in City wide celebrations such as Canal Days, and Christmas in Little Falls.
It is fair to say that the YMCA is, in large part, the heart and soul of this City. Its activities, programs and partnerships have only benefited the City and its residents.
THE YMCA HAS NEVER REMOVED PROPERTY FORM THE TAX ROLLS:
The YMCA did not, in acquiring the properties in question, remove them from the tax rolls. The fact is, none of the properties at issue were on the tax rolls at the time the YMCA acquired them. The YMCA, in cooperation with the City, acquired the properties and put them to good, positive, beneficial use, consistent with its mission.
Text Part 4

Brooklyn, NY

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#11
Jan 7, 2013
 

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THE CITY’S ACTION IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO YMCA PROGRAMS AND SERIVCES:

City’s actions come at a time when the YMCA is desperately in need of every dollar it can raise to continue to function. All of the YMCA’s programs are done on a shoestring. It is well known that funding sources have dried up for charitable organizations as they have for municipalities and for private individuals. The YMCA has for many years now been forced to layoff, consolidate, merge services, share management and to be resourceful in maintaining its ancient equipment and facilities. The financial “hit” on the YMCA if it is forced to pay real property taxes would seriously threaten its ability to continue to operate.

Because the City’s decisions present a serious threat to the YMCA’s ability to function we can no longer sit back and hope that somehow the City will recognize the harm its actions will cause. Nor can the residents of this City. We have to ask that the community recognize the value that the YMCA offers to this City and its residents.

Right now, in a related move, the City, which previously eliminated the position of “City Assessor” now proposes to hire the non-City resident who launched the idea that YMCA’s properties might be taxable. The Common Council is considering that proposal at its meeting at 7:00 pm on January 8, 2013. The details of the proposal have not yet been disclosed or discussed in public, but we are fearful that the Common Council might decide to take that action without any advance notice or discussion of the proposal, without any disclosure of the cost to the City, without any exploration of the alternatives, and even though it may not be necessary at all, since the County would continue to provide tax services to the City without the need for a separate new employee or contractor.

If you are concerned about this, and we feel you should be, we ask that you contact the Mayor and the members of the Common Council and urge them to withdraw the expensive, damaging and poorly conceived idea of taxing their own partner in community service - services which the City itself previously recognized, praised and supported. There is no more logical justification for the City to tax the YMCA’s properties than there is for the City to tax itself for the operations of the municipal golf course and clubhouse.

It is the City which put this matter on the public agenda, so we ask that you put your opinion on this matter on their agenda: contact your City representatives and state your opinion, hopefully in support of the YMCA mission, and insist that they withdraw the proposal to tax YMCA properties, and withdraw their proposal to hire a non-resident to provide assessor-like services when the same services are already available through the County.
Its There

Little Falls, NY

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#12
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Text Part 2 wrote:
I also posted "Part 1" and it already got deleted. I'm not going to bother trying to post the rest. Good luck.
Your part one is there. I just read it. So is part 2 there. Is that the whole letter?
Agree

Herkimer, NY

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#13
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Text Part 2 wrote:
I also posted "Part 1" and it already got deleted. I'm not going to bother trying to post the rest. Good luck.
Thanks for that. And EVERYONE who signed the letter or petition or who even cares needs to turn out at the Common Council meeting tomorrow night and show their displeasure. We've crossed yet another Rubicon here. And remember that last time? The Goon Squad will crush you individually if we don't stand together as a group. The citizens really need to show that they, and not a few goons, are what this City is supposed to be about.
LF resident

Herkimer, NY

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#14
Jan 7, 2013
 

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This whole episode is ridiculous and shameful. The mayor obviously has no clue about the law. Isn't the City Attorney worth a damn?

Bobby: if it were up to us, you'd be fired and your City Attorney too. You're either dumb, mislead, or totally incompetent.

Enough. We will be there tomorrow night.
The 55 Percent

Herkimer, NY

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#15
Jan 7, 2013
 

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LF resident wrote:
This whole episode is ridiculous and shameful. The mayor obviously has no clue about the law. Isn't the City Attorney worth a damn?
Bobby: if it were up to us, you'd be fired and your City Attorney too. You're either dumb, mislead, or totally incompetent.
Enough. We will be there tomorrow night.
We have already fired him, back in November of 2011. But evidently it's not up to us.
Again

Little Falls, NY

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#16
Jan 7, 2013
 

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The 55 Percent wrote:
<quoted text>
We have already fired him, back in November of 2011. But evidently it's not up to us.
Well you have another really "big chance" to make your points known tomorrow nite.If you don't (and I will be watching)then stay off of topix because everyone will know you are cowardly.
GetuPStandUp

Little Falls, NY

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#17
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Be there or be square.
Serious question

Herkimer, NY

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#19
Jan 7, 2013
 

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Text Part 2 wrote:
Also, in connection with the City and YMCA application for residential and facility improvements at Jackson Street, the YMCA undertook a major capital improvement project, including an addition to the YMCA building, the acquisition of adjoining property on Garden Street from the HARC, which is also used in the community low income housing program. But the City, in an abrupt, and we believe unjustified turn-around, has decided some arbitrarily selected functions are taxable.
I asked this question before and nobody could provide a satisfactory answer. If the Y houSe on Garden Street - as the YMCA itself claims - is in the "community low income housing program", could someone please explain to me how these people qualify?
amanda larsen wrote:
idk how the hell im poor when my kids have everything, they dont go without. everything in my house is brand new and not junk. as for 542 garden st there the same way, rents always paid, so you tell me how we are poor??
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/little-falls-...
Jennifer McLain wrote:
I haved lived at 542 garden street in little falls for the past 5 years . i an not on social services nor have i been . i have had 5 new neighbors . in this time . i mind my owen . tony my landlord has asked me to lesve due to the people next door at 544 garden st . i have paid my rent every month that i have been their in cash for the past 5 years . i dont cause any problems .
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/little-falls-...

Everything in their house is new, pay their rent in cash (to their LANDLORD). Doesn't exactly sound like low-income housing to me.
opinions r like aholes

Herkimer, NY

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#20
Jan 7, 2013
 

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LF resident wrote:
This whole episode is ridiculous and shameful. The mayor obviously has no clue about the law.
Huh, I didn't know the courts had ruled in favor of the Y already. Could you please post a link to the decision? Or is this just your opinion?
IDK

Little Falls, NY

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#21
Jan 7, 2013
 
Serious question wrote:
I asked this question before and nobody could provide a satisfactory answer. If the Y houSe on Garden Street - as the YMCA itself claims - is in the "community low income housing program", could someone please explain to me how these people qualify?
Do you believe everything you read on Topix?

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