National parks need maintenance money

2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. From the Statute of Liberty to Ellis Island to Gateway National Recreation Area, New Yorkers can be proud of our shared heritage protected as national park sites.

There is a critical problem, however: More than $12 billion is needed in repairs. The private sector has been generous in supplementing funds, but Congress has been negligent in allocating adequate money to run and maintain our national parks.

New York’s members of Congress need to work to make funding our parks a priority again.

Kristian Nammack, Park Slope

Editor’s note: The writer is the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Legacy Partnership, which helps support the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay Cove.

 

Property tax is unfair way to fund education

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I like to browse through Newsday’s Friday home sales pages. It often mystifies me how our property tax system works.

I’m sure there is a plethora of explanations as to why a home that recently sold in Malverne for $425,000 had property taxes of $17,787, while a home in Sea Cliff sold for $984,000 with property taxes of $15,906. I see examples of homes in the Hamptons valued at more than $2 million, with taxes of less than $10,000.

There are no explanations that justify the property tax system as an equitable way to fund education. The bulk of our property taxes goes to the local school district, yet those who can afford it least often pay far more than those who can afford it most.

I understand we have our fiefdoms on Long Island, and much of our home value rests with the perceived quality of the school district. But let’s not fool ourselves, the system is far from fair.

Ken Lang, Glen Head