Three Spring Valley trustees have caused a tax catastrophe for the village.
Almost 2,000 taxpayers had a double-digit increase in 2017! Over 700 got a 50% increase in one year, and for 200 unlucky homeowners taxes more than doubled!
How did this happen? Trustees Grossman, Fonvil and McGill abolished the Assessor’s Office, and gave the job to the towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown.
This was done over the objections of village trustee Emilia White.
Last November, The Journal News quoted trustee Emilia White: “I don’t know how anybody in their right mind would think of giving the town of Ramapo the job of assessing the village’s property while the town itself is under investigation for fraud.”
Trustee Emilia White knew that others had already had problems with the town of Ramapo. That same month, according to the Journal News, the village of Suffern was exploring whether to separate from Ramapo over how the town has used millions in village taxpayer money for town-provided services over the years.
Unfortunately, we have now learned that the worst is yet to come.
The Journal News has now reported that most tax bills sent out this year were actually less than the full amount, which means there will be another large increase in next year’s tax bill.
Mathematicians reading this will have already noticed the glaring mistake. The sum of the parts cannot be greater than the whole. If the total amount of tax collected is the same, then an increase for one must be offset by a decrease for another.
If mathematicians have one flaw, it’s that they are always right! Taxes did go down for some. You may have already guessed who.
That’s right, its corporations and LLCs. Among the biggest winners are notorious slumlords and giant commercial properties.
• Spring Valley Marketplace (Home to Target, etc.) got a $333,000 reduction.
• JHW Construction, owner of Regency Village, got $230,000.
• 282 N Main LLC, owner of Cadillac Manor, got $130,000.
• A car dealership got $94,000.
• Country Village Towers, owner of 101 Kennedy Drive, got $75,000.
• Meadow Gardens LLC Owner of Meadow Lane Apartments, got $68,000.
Compare the corporation’s windfall to the fate of these hard-working citizens:
• A 98-year-old woman who saw a 38 percent increase in her village tax bill. She is living off social security. She says the tax increase will mean she can buy less groceries.
• An 80-year-old retired woman who is taking jobs cleaning houses to pay a 60 percent tax increase this year.
• A volunteer fireman whose taxes went up by over $10,000 in one year! He says he has no choice but to move. What a loss for our village!
It is very likely that many of our seniors, veterans, and others on fixed income will not be able to pay this excessive tax and will lose their homes. It is likely that the LLCs and out of town real estate speculators will snatch up these properties. Solicitors are already knocking on doors throughout the village, looking to profit from other’s misfortune.
Do trustees Grossman, Fonvil, and McGill comprehend the immense destruction they have caused to the people of the village of Spring Valley?
They are so scared of the voter’s reaction that they are running a “rebate” for this year’s increase (it’s an election year!!!), funded by borrowing money (to be paid back at the higher rate after the election).
This “rebate” according to the Journal News, would only apply to this year’s bill. The village has not informed taxpayers that for many, next year’s bill will be even higher! The taxpayers signature on the rebate check will double as a surrendering of any potential legal claim against the village.
This catastrophe is awful, but it is fixable.
Grossman and Fonvil are both running for election this year. They think the “rebate” may fool the voters. They are wrong.
Emilia White, the only trustee with the foresight to oppose this catastrophe before it happened, is running for Mayor. She has earned our trust many times over. The only reason she couldn’t stop this catastrophe before it happened is that she is only one vote out of five. This year she has a team, they are Emilia White for Mayor, Chevon DosReis for Trustee, and Eustache Clerveaux for trustee.
This catastrophe is awful, but it is fixable. First, Spring Valley citizens need a village board that they can trust to do the right thing. This year is our opportunity to end the cycle of dysfunction and corruption in Spring Valley. Vote White – DosReis – Clerveaux in the Democratic Primary on September 12.
PreserveRamapo.org has followed and reported on the writing and public announcements of Spring Valley activist Steve White for a number of years.