Dear Mr. Murphy:
Once again, thanks for your comments. You suggest that I'm confusing the assessment with actual taxes and also confusing town taxes with school taxes so perhaps it would help if I explain my experience.
After the last assessment I received a preliminary notice from the Assessor's Office indicating that my taxes would increase by about $300 a year. I assumed therefore that I was not among the 30 percent of homeowners whose assessment went up, nor was I among the 30 percent whose assessment went down. Instead I was among the 30 percent whose assessment remained relatively unchanged.
At the same time the East Quogue school district voted to increase school taxes by 11 percent. At the end of the year, when I received my actual tax bill, I learned that "Town," "School," and "Other" taxes increased not by $300, nor by 11 percent, but rather by 30 percent.
No one — not the Assessor's Office, nor the School District, nor the Town Board has ever explained why my taxes went up by 30 percent.
You also suggest that I'm trying to politicize. I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I was just trying to point out in my letters that Patrick Heaney and Linda Kabot are inconsistent in their logic and that their business model for the Town may be too narrow and self-defeating.
Editor's Note: We didn't say 30 percent of assessments went down. Virtually every property in Southampton went up in assessed value. What we said that as a result of a reassessment typically one-third of the homeowners pay more taxes, about one-third stay the same, and about one-third pay less. If in fact your taxes went up 30% you should consult a town assessor.
June 13, 2006