Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Islip's budget math
- Kevin Law signs on
- Our quick takes on the news of the day
He said, she said
— Donald Trump has suggested that he and Hillary Clinton take a drug test before Wednesday’s debate. How about a civics test?
— New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking credit for pushing Hillary Clinton to the left last fall, apparently developing amnesia about Sen. Bernie Sanders.
— Hillary Clinton’s campaign says the emails hacked from campaign chief John Podesta are a worrisome example of a foreign nation interfering in an American election. Which is not the same as saying that the emails aren’t authentic.
— At a rally Sunday night in Colorado, Sen. Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump a “selfish little sleazeball,” a “pathetic cheapskate,” a “small, insecure money grubber” and a “two-bit con man.” Kinda makes you wish she was the one answering the question about saying something nice about your opponent.
— Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly is making inquiries about setting up a Trump television network after the election. Which is not really something that can be done if, you know, Trump wins.
— The meeting in Rwanda of nearly 200 nations that produced a climate-change agreement to limit the use of harmful hydrofluorocarbons, used in air conditioners and refrigerators, was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre in Kigali, where temperatures topped out in the low 80s. Yes, the center is air-conditioned.
Crunching the numbers
Municipal math nerds couldn’t be blamed for scratching their heads when they saw that the Town of Islip plans to fund a 1.05 percent increase in budgeted spending with a 9.9 percent tax increase.
So why is the proposed 2017 rate increase almost 10 times the size of the spending increase?
The town has several reasons:
First, less than one-third of Islip’s total revenue comes from property taxes. So if additional revenue is to come mostly from that pot, the tax rate increase will have to be much larger than the spending increase.
Second, the assessed value of the tax base has actually shrunk. That happens when people grieve their assessments, properties go off the tax rolls, and residents take advantage of tax breaks like the veterans exemption.
And third, revenue from other sources is expected to decline, so money must be raised for more than just the purpose of covering the increased spending.
The upshot, officials say, is that the 1.05 percent increase in spending equals about $2.33 million. But about $4 million in additional property tax revenue is needed. And that, with everything else taken into account, means a 9.9 percent increase in the tax rate, or about $48 for the average household.
Outside the ring
Was the Long Island Association dusting off the boxing gloves of late president Matt Crosson when Kevin Law criticized efforts by both county executives to increase mortgage-recording fees? Not really, says the LIA’s current president.
The Long Island Board of Realtors is outraged by a proposal that would hurt their business interests and the Island’s growth, so it wrote to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Then, the Association for a Better Long Island and the Long Island Builders Institute signed on to the statement, and the LIA did so to back them up.
Law says the LIA is “not shy” about opposing policies that are negative for the Island, but that signing the letter wasn’t a sign that he and the LIA are getting more combative in getting their message across.