Letter: Suffolk needs property reform, too

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I could not agree more with the editorial "Nassau fix to assessment problems is long overdue" [March 13]. But what many of your readers might not know is that headline also applies to many Suffolk County property-tax payers.

In the Village of Northport, which is part of Huntington, we have not had a reassessment in many decades, and the problem as it relates to tax fairness is not much different from Nassau. In some cases, the problem is getting worse because of the Long Island Power Authority's appeal of its property taxes.

In Northport, homeowners are captive to state law that says change can occur only if village elected politicians pass a law requiring reassessment. That hurdle will not be overcome because many are overwhelmed by the complexity of the law and the fact that most voters live in older homes and benefit greatly from the status quo.

Taxpayers who are treated unfairly as a result of property overassessment have a right to appeal, as they should.

The entire property tax assessment system is nothing more than a money machine created by Albany for the legal profession, and fixing it can only come from Albany.

Leo Montagna, Northport

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More senior housing needed

I read with some disappointment the letter about Plainview becoming too dense ["Housing plan too dense for Plainview," March 12].

I moved to this area more than 45 years ago, but I appreciate the changes. We need senior housing so we can continue to live here, as well as more affordable housing for the younger generation so it doesn't move away.

The Town of Oyster Bay is to be commended for the senior housing complexes built throughout the town. People in other townships say they wish they had more places like that, so they wouldn't have to move away from where they've lived most of their lives, and have their adult children relocate, too.

I consider it progress, not "urban sprawl."

Maia Gaiti, Bethpage

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The letter writer who advocated refurbishing old school buildings as over-55 housing was on the mark ["Old schools should open to new life," March 12].

We fought for almost 20 years against a mega-mall development at the former Cerro Wire property in Syosset. This mall would have attracted thousands of people, nightmare traffic and produced a poor quality of life for our community.

I would welcome with open arms a place to move to so I could stay in the community I love for another 20 to 30 years.

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Kevin H. Fox, Jericho

Catholic-school pensions meager

I am writing in response to "Diocese alters retirement benefits" [News, March 12]. The Catholic Church speaks of social justice as a cornerstone of our beliefs. However, the retirement plan offered by the Diocese of Rockville Centre makes this empty rhetoric.

Low salaries for Catholic school teachers result in low Social Security benefits. Even with their pensions added in, some retired teachers are eligible for food stamps.

The article stated that the old pension plan put the diocese at financial risk. With regard to the new plan, diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said, "We want to be able to deliver what we promise and promise what we deliver."

Can teachers now expect things to be different? I think history answers this question. No one need wonder for long why the diocese has prohibited its employees from speaking to the media about this issue.

Deborah Deasy, Lindenhurst

Editor's note: The writer is a retired teacher with the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Wall Street bonuses outrageous

I find it hard to believe that the banking and financial industry in New York, which was turned upside-down by the financial meltdown in 2008, has recovered so nicely that the average bonus of those who get them was $164,000 ["Average '13 Wall St. bonus put at $164G-plus," Business, March 13].

That is far more than teachers are paid, and this bonus is in addition to a salary! The bonuses were 15 percent higher than last year.

How many times has the issue of teachers and the Common Core made the front page?

Rich Weeks, Middle Island

Editor's note: The writer is a public school teacher.

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