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You think Florida property taxes are bad? Try Rochester NY.

Not that long ago my relatives and I were discussing a family lake home that everyone could visit in the summer with the kids. The problem is, we decided it really was not realistic or a wise investment for our futures due to one big problem- property taxes. Sound familiar?

I’ve said before there is disparity within our state of Florida, though it has been made a statewide issue as if everyone has the same problem. They don’t. In Broward County the largest portion of property taxes is for schools. Since some parts of Florida do not have the giant school budget, they also don’t have as big a property tax problem. Yes, there are other issues such as those created by Save our Homes, but property taxes as a percentage of the home value varies widely across the state.

But back to the NY problem. Excerpt from Responsible New York blog, which references a recent Democrat & Chronicle article, According to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, property taxes on a home in Rochester valued at $100,000 are just under $4,000. Taxes on a $100,000 home in Yonkers (Westchester County) are less than half that ($1,773) while in South Hampton (Suffolk County) they are almost a tenth of that ($456).

For the roughly $40,000 per year in property taxes on the lakefront property we decided there were better values in other parts of the country, even in other parts of NY. In Rochester, the disparity extends beyond the city to specific towns and neighborhoods. So one area may pay 4 mils, but another 7 mils. Make sense? Of course not!

Tom Golisano has been a family friend forever. Unfortunately, many groups are vilifying him in the press because he wants …gasp!…REFORM! He’s not running for office. He’s retired from the company he founded, though he remains on the board. As I recall, he preferred to distance himself from both major parties, but you have to join one to ‘play ball’, so he has switched around. Today, he simply wants change for his home town and has the means and time to help organize a group to do just that. We should applaud people like Tom who are able to use their knowledge and influence to help affect change in our country. I support the cause and if you are in NY you should too!


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