Pricey fire district must go

Full story: Newsday

Taxpayers in the most expensive district on the Island should get the vote they want and a chance at equitable rates August 3, 2008 Among the obstacles to cutting through the thick tangle of special districts ...
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1 - 20 of 39 Comments Last updated Dec 21, 2008
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darker

Franklin Lakes, NJ

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#1
Aug 3, 2008
 

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It's absolutely insane(!) for homeowners to pay $1500 or more fire district taxes in a relatively small community. Special districts are OUT OF CONTROL and a cash cow for corruption, constant construction cost payouts and unnecessary expenses billed to taxpayers.

ENOUGH ALREADY.

GET RID OF SPECIAL DISTRICTS, legislators.
Or we'll get rid of YOU in the next election!
sarah

Mount Kisco, NY

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#2
Aug 3, 2008
 

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It just isn't fair . they should all get a refund
Joey

Brooklyn, NY

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#3
Aug 3, 2008
 

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sarah wrote:
It just isn't fair . they should all get a refund
...why not call it what it would be....REPARATIONS. The reason GH has no tax base is that nobody would open/operate a commercial business there.(Let's be honest here) Finally, I say disolve this district and absorb the area into the Coram fire district.
Taxes Taxes Taxes

Stormville, NY

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#4
Aug 3, 2008
 

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In 1952, Gordon Heights Fire District was established with a petition by the majority of the residents.

In 2008, residents are seeking dissolution through the same petition process.

Guy Smiley

AOL

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#5
Aug 3, 2008
 

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Joey wrote:
<quoted text>...why not call it what it would be....REPARATIONS. The reason GH has no tax base is that nobody would open/operate a commercial business there.(Let's be honest here) Finally, I say disolve this district and absorb the area into the Coram fire district.
The residents refused to pass a vote for commercial zoning causing their own problems. Before they cut off their noses they need to look at other options to fix their tax burdens. Commercial zoning could do just that. The new Newsday picked up where the old one left off I see. Anyone else? Has anyone here ever seen Gordon Hts. FD? There is absolutely no misappropriations going on there, just a great bunch of people looking out for their homes and families. Good Luck GHFD. The House, The House, The House is on fire. We won't let it burn Gordon Heights will put it out.
Clear Vision

West Babylon, NY

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#6
Aug 3, 2008
 

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We need to consolidate all fire districts along town lines. Eliminate all the excessive spending and duplicate jobs, cut taxes, and have a leaner, more accountable system.
GOF

Bronx, NY

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#7
Aug 3, 2008
 

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Guy Smiley wrote:
<quoted text> The residents refused to pass a vote for commercial zoning causing their own problems. Before they cut off their noses they need to look at other options to fix their tax burdens. Commercial zoning could do just that. The new Newsday picked up where the old one left off I see. Anyone else? Has anyone here ever seen Gordon Hts. FD? There is absolutely no misappropriations going on there, just a great bunch of people looking out for their homes and families. Good Luck GHFD. The House, The House, The House is on fire. We won't let it burn Gordon Heights will put it out.
At this rate there won't be any homes and families to look out for. Do you have any idea how many boarded up homes and foreclosures there are in GH? NYS law - all calls go to a central dispatch center and the nearest depart is dispatched. Volunteer men put out fires not 1.5 million dollar districts. Stop exploiting the volunteers - if they are truly in it for the right reason it should make no difference which district they are a member of!!!! Commercial zoning was explored and failed. There is absolutely not enough LAND in the district to rectify the problem. Remember we are talking less than 2 miles. Dissolution is the only solution.
GFD Investigation

Brooklyn, NY

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#8
Aug 3, 2008
 

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darker wrote:
It's absolutely insane(!) for homeowners to pay $1500 or more fire district taxes in a relatively small community. Special districts are OUT OF CONTROL and a cash cow for corruption, constant construction cost payouts and unnecessary expenses billed to taxpayers.
ENOUGH ALREADY.
GET RID OF SPECIAL DISTRICTS, legislators.
Or we'll get rid of YOU in the next election!
We in Greenlawn who defeated a bond in our Greenlawn Fire District this past week agree that our elected representatives need to take note that we are becoming conscious of their bias toward those special interests who they have almost universally supported in the past due to the campaign contributions they receive from teachers unions, PBA's and fireman's organizations. We'll continue to vote against budgets and projects that don't make sense, and vote against officials who don't listen to their constituents.
Taxed to death

Highland, NY

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#9
Aug 3, 2008
 

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People need to defeat all of these JOKE special districts. How can 1.7 miles of area not just be absorbed by a surrounding fire district? Clearly it can and should if their tax bill is what it is.

All politicians are corrupt, they work for the UNIONS and as such should ALL be voted out.

If the heard of Long Island sheep would just keep voting incumbents out, regardless of party, in time, the broken system could at least begin to be fixed.
Teddy R

Mclean, VA

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#10
Aug 3, 2008
 

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Signs of intelligent life on the island. Most encouraging.

Dissolve the corrupt special districts & consolidate.
Hey

United States

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#11
Aug 3, 2008
 

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Hey, beer costs money. How do you expect the firehouse to run without plenty of beer? Just ask Terrence. Oh, he gets it for free.
Honch

Smithtown, NY

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#12
Aug 3, 2008
 

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If you don't donate to the fire department they will let your house burn down if you call them.
True or false?
Coram Resident

Locust Valley, NY

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#13
Aug 3, 2008
 
I agree that the tax GH residents pay is absurd, but at the same time I personally know about a dozen homeowners in the district, and every one of them had access to the tax information PRIOR to buying their homes.

In 2 cases specifically ( one on the Yaphank boundary and one at the Middle Island boundary ) the homeowners willingly chose to be INSIDE the GH fire district because the home was taxed at the higher rate, the home cost was lower.

It was a trade off both were willing to make at the time, but now complain about.

To me this smacks of the many people who bought a house willingly next to MacArthur Airport or the LIE because the cost was lower, then complained about the noise of the planes or the traffic.

Buyer beware, I hear the cries of excessive taxes.. but I admit I don't have much sympathy for someone who made the biggest investment in their lives without due diligence.
Guy Smiley

AOL

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#14
Aug 3, 2008
 
Coram Resident wrote:
I agree that the tax GH residents pay is absurd, but at the same time I personally know about a dozen homeowners in the district, and every one of them had access to the tax information PRIOR to buying their homes.
In 2 cases specifically ( one on the Yaphank boundary and one at the Middle Island boundary ) the homeowners willingly chose to be INSIDE the GH fire district because the home was taxed at the higher rate, the home cost was lower.
It was a trade off both were willing to make at the time, but now complain about.
To me this smacks of the many people who bought a house willingly next to MacArthur Airport or the LIE because the cost was lower, then complained about the noise of the planes or the traffic.
Buyer beware, I hear the cries of excessive taxes.. but I admit I don't have much sympathy for someone who made the biggest investment in their lives without due diligence.
You are absolutely correct. What most should like to know is how many of the people complaining to Newsday actually showed up at their Fire Distrct monthly meetings and contributed to resolving their community tax situation. By going to Newsday this story breeds hatred of a very viable and needed service. One that if it were to go paid would cost all of us far more than any of us could ever afford yet still live on our island (and I know the come back just show me 5, 10 and 20 year projections on salary and tax increases before you write, this information is well hidden). Better yet, what will the homewoners insurance premiums increase to if Gordon Heights FD get closed down? If one hasn't taken the time to chip-in in some way, one shouldn't be knocking an invaluable FREE service. Join the department and see what does go on there and don't take a biased news report as fact. Reporters are known for hiding behind the 1st ammendment just to make money for themselves. Don't let yourselves be exploited by Newsday. Get involved, even if it is only attending a monthly meeting. Lastly back track, as the quoted poster has pointed out, and see what deal was cut to alure homeowners to Gordon Heights. Drive through there and it is clear that money came from somewhere to be invested in the area. The town is looking good these days.
Middle Island Resident

Hopewell Junction, NY

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#15
Aug 3, 2008
 
Coram Resident wrote:
I agree that the tax GH residents pay is absurd, but at the same time I personally know about a dozen homeowners in the district, and every one of them had access to the tax information PRIOR to buying their homes.
In 2 cases specifically ( one on the Yaphank boundary and one at the Middle Island boundary ) the homeowners willingly chose to be INSIDE the GH fire district because the home was taxed at the higher rate, the home cost was lower.
It was a trade off both were willing to make at the time, but now complain about.
To me this smacks of the many people who bought a house willingly next to MacArthur Airport or the LIE because the cost was lower, then complained about the noise of the planes or the traffic.
Buyer beware, I hear the cries of excessive taxes.. but I admit I don't have much sympathy for someone who made the biggest investment in their lives without due diligence.
First, I would like to say that it is not a valid statement to say that people in GH purchased a home without due dilligence. When a 1st time homebuyer buys a brand new construction home with no exact tax history, how can you say they should have known? And even if one were to look at a neighboring home's tax bill, how would one know that $1,800 for fire taxes is extremely high?

This is about unreasonably high fire taxes compared to all of long island and for the smallest area (less than 2 miles). For most, it's not about being unable to afford it, but rather the unfairness of it. It's absurd no matter which way you look at it. IMO, the cost of 1.5 mill outweighs the benefit especially when there are alternative solutions available.
Sorry you are wrong

Stamford, CT

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#16
Aug 3, 2008
 
Sorry you are wrong again as usual!!!

When people bought their homes they were told their fire taxes would be Medford, Middle Island, Yaphank or Coram . This was based on their zip code address. I can document this with many, many comments from deceived homeowners. Just ask the people living on Daremy Court.

The price of homes is the same whether in the GHFD or not. It is the GHFD taxes that are on average $1000 higher than in Middle Island, Medford or Yaphank for a comparable home.

Again, why should people come down to the GHFD meetings when you are not interested in hearing from the community. You have refused in writing to allow the public to speak during your meetings.

No matter how you try to spin things the community knows the truth.
Taxes Taxes Taxes

Stormville, NY

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#17
Aug 3, 2008
 
we applaud our dedicated vollies at the GHFD. That is not the issue here. The issue is how these Killer Fire Taxes are undermining this community. Guy Smiley thinks the town looks good. Take a closer look - anyone who has invested in a nice home is being punished with fire taxes costing the residents over $2,000. Many homes are abandoned, boarded-up or turned over as County run homes. Financially, this community has no future as long as we continue to live in the past
Time has Come

Mahwah, NJ

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#18
Aug 3, 2008
 

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I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!! Stop listening to these vested profits of doom about standing up to the teachers, cops and fire districts. They are making living on LI impossible for young people or the retired. Upstate, the volunteers actually volunteer. If that is what we have, then why all these Mansions of firehouses, bars that Mulchahys is envious of, and Fire Control Centers for simple house fires. Time for consolidation and accountability. Let the real elected officials be responsible for this not some obscure Fire official who is beholden to the same ol same ol.
Coram Resident

Locust Valley, NY

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#19
Aug 3, 2008
 
Middle Island Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
First, I would like to say that it is not a valid statement to say that people in GH purchased a home without due dilligence. When a 1st time homebuyer buys a brand new construction home with no exact tax history, how can you say they should have known? And even if one were to look at a neighboring home's tax bill, how would one know that $1,800 for fire taxes is extremely high?
This is about unreasonably high fire taxes compared to all of long island and for the smallest area (less than 2 miles). For most, it's not about being unable to afford it, but rather the unfairness of it. It's absurd no matter which way you look at it. IMO, the cost of 1.5 mill outweighs the benefit especially when there are alternative solutions available.
Due Diligence means going beyond simply saying to yourself that since a house is new construction "I'll just accept whatever the taxes will be". By looking at comps in the neighborhood, which happens to be easy to find out, you can find out exactly what the breakdown is.

The first part of your argument is one of simple ignorance as the excuse. " There is no prior tax bill to look at, so let's throw caution to the wind since finding out what the neighbors pay would take effort."

The second part in which you ask how a first time homebuyer would know an $1800. a year fire tax be high is naive. Are you trying to claim that a person that is buying their first house has no ability to see the breakdown of other districts tax bills? Are you suggesting that the real estate agent that they SHOULD be working with as a buyers agent isn't aware of the high tax bill in the area? Are you implying that public records aren't public?

When I bought my house I checked out the school district, I checked out the types of crime and frequency not only by public records but by stopping in the local precinct house, I spoke to the mailman to see what he had to say about the area... oh, and a little thing called speaking to potential neighbors who happened to be outside.

Does no one actually care about the place they intend to spend most of their life at enough to take the effort ahead of time?

Show me the real estate agent that isn't aware of the Heights fire tax issues and I'll show you a person that is either lying or is trying to see their first house in Suffolk.

It's kind of sad that to a degree what you say is in fact accurate. But I don't feel sorry for the people who spend more care in buying a car than they do their home.
Coram Resident

Locust Valley, NY

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#20
Aug 3, 2008
 
I go back to the days of when Cecil was the Chief out there and even back then he would say that not enough residents helped out and did their parts.

The same can be said about Medford far enough back that Jack Cassidy was still the Chief.

I wonder how much of that has changed among the people that complain about their fire taxes but don't volunteer.

I'm going to skip the rest of this thread because honestly it doesn't affect me enough. If Coram absorbs part of GH, good for them. I don't personally care what fire it is I'm helping put out my focus is helping out regardless of a district boundary.

As long as the people who are absorbed into our district volunteer as well and aren't just sitting at home trying to figure out what to protest against while my home is burning.

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