How Creeping Taxes Are Destroying Long Island


If you want to know why taxes on Long Island are so high, pay attention to tax creep. It’s the $20 here and $30 there that add up to almost $1,000 in higher taxes annually.

How many times have we heard that there’s no reason to fret; the proposed increase on that new bond is only $20 per month?

That’s what taxpayers in one district heard when a new library was built. That’s another $240 a year, before they’ve even factored in their school’s operational increases. A typical 3 percent increase for a guy like me comes out to about an additional $218.

That’s on top of the extra $140 for the recent school bond that passed on the theory that it was only another $12 per month.

When Suffolk County police got their latest contract, we were told it’s only $35 more a year. This, while the town was saying its modest general fund increase was only another $18.50 a year.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is going to take a certain chemical out of its system? Rejoice, it’s only going to be an extra $80 annually. That doesn’t include the usual increases for general operations. And there’s the other county initiative floated to take another $300 annually for more “water cleaning” programs? Not to mention the $21,000 they want some to spend to replace our cesspools.

Meanwhile, New York State is giving us offshore windmills, while we continue to pay to subsidize inefficient upstate nuke plants. Another $30 a year for that. That’s on top of National Grid’s increase of $38 approved for 2020. By the way, the utility is presently asking for another hike of almost $100.  

Look also to your cell phone bill, where in New York, taxes comprise 28 percent of the bill. The average is $260 per year, up from $229.

The $20 here and $30 there just added up to a whopping $813 theft from our pockets on these items alone. 

Former Senate Floor Leader Everett Dirksen once said, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking about real money.”  Same for the local level. $20 here. $30 there. Soon you’re talking about a grand in extra taxes and fees. 

And they wonder why we are leaving?

Steve Levy is a former Suffolk County executive and current president of Common Sense Strategies.