News That Matters
"People here in the US don't understand these things about constitutional rights."
Good Thursday Morning,
The amazing thing is that we didn't loose power up here on Miller Hill Road yesterday. Sometimes, on a nice, warm sunny day the power will go out and stay out for no known reason around here. In storms, however, we're usually out and also the very last in the county to have our power restored. 4000 homes were without power as of last evening and some are still out this morning. Here's hoping NYSEG gets you back on line soon.
I'm thinking about getting my taxes together for 2008 and I was wondering if the new Circuit Breaker bill, based on Sandy Galef's original proposal would affect me at all. It turns out that as a renter, it does not. In fact, there has been a property tax CB out for a while (IT-214) that only kicks in if I earn less than $18,000.
Most rents around here are pegged almost dollar-to-dollar to the cost of property taxes so when the CB kicks in for our landlords they realize a reduction in their ultimate property tax bill while our rents do not go down. What this amounts to is a tax free bonus for landlords and a de facto rent increase for renters. Gee. Thanks Sandy!While we're talking about Ms. Galef, I received, like many of you did, a report from her in the mail the other day outlining the results of a poll she took in... what seems like years ago already. Anyway, if you remember this space back in those days, I complained bitterly about the method used and the wording of questions in that poll which was intended to prove support for her Circuit Breaker bill (which has effectively raised my rent ~30%) and a guaranteed property tax increase in the form of a tax 'cap'. Well Surprise! The results show widespread support for both!
I wish those of us fighting for sanity had the same resources as those that are fighting to screw you over as taxpayers. They have the power of the state, we have News That Matters. They have franking privileges, we have bubkis.
The Highlands Coalition has produced a sweet 4-color brochure about the wildlife that shares our space here in the Hudson Highlands. You can download a PDF copy here or visit the NtM blog site and see it there.
From the brochure:
And now, the News:
By Robert McKeon
A Poughkeepsie Journal Editorial
When it comes to improving vitally important open-government laws, the state must keep up the momentum.
By Craig Wolf
Hannan Adely and Jonathan Bandler
By SHAILA DEWAN
Sunday 04 January 2009
By Chris Walters, 8:36 PM on Tue Jan 6 2009,
In 2006, Raed Jaer, an Iraqi-born U.S. resident, was forced by TSA officials and JetBlue to cover his t-shirt—it read, "We Will Not Be Silent" in both Arabic and English—before he could board a flight. The airline and the two TSA officials (TSA was not named in the suit) settled out of court last week for $240,000, although JetBlue still denies they did anything wrong, and the TSA says they don't "condone profiling in any way shape or form."