Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fees, Taxes On the Rise as New York Families Struggle Thru Bad Economy

The NY Daily News posted a new story the other day on how both taxes and fees are rising as families continue to struggle during this economic crisis. You can read a snippet of their article below or check out the full text here.

Jim Feasel is a retired NYPD detective, an expert in figuring out who did it and why.

But now there’s a problem in his personal life that he can’t solve and he feels handcuffed.

“How did the city’s appraised value of my home go up $75,000 last year. . . when property values went down 10% or more?” bellowed Feasel, who owns a two-family home in Woodside, Queens.

Along with thousands of other middle-class New Yorkers, Feasel is feeling the big squeeze — what happens when taxes and fees go up while income stays flat and investments and property values fall.

Property taxes are just part of the pinch. Water and sewer charges were hiked 14.5% last July 1 and will go up another 12.9% this July 1. Fares, tolls, utilities and property assessments are all higher.

Add in 60 increased or new state fees and taxes — on everything from beer to hunting licenses — and its no wonder New Yorkers are wondering how they’ll make ends meet.

Own a deli or pizza parlor? Your “food licensing fee” is being jacked up from $100 to $250. Registering a car will cost $55, up from the old $44 fee. A monthly MetroCard will set back straphangers $89 instead of $81.

The increases are designed to close city and state budget gaps of more than $22 billion — but some say they’re misguided.

“It’s piling on and the middle class is getting killed,” said Controller William Thompson, who is running against Mayor Bloomberg in November. “There was no reason to raise water and sewer that much.”

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