Jun 08, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
An epidemic of severe sticker-shock recently swept through the local population after taxpayers eyeballed their 2011 town and village tax bills.
On the other hand, their county tax bills seemed somewhat lower than last year.
Here’s a better question: Who’s fooling who?
It can all be traced to Onondaga County’s 2010 decision to withhold sales-tax revenues from the towns and villages. “Due to Onondaga County taking half of the village sales tax money,” said Liverpool Mayor Gary White, “our budget is short on revenues by $285,000.”
The village trustees had no choice but to raise taxes this year by a whopping 22 percent. It was the first time in 14 years that village taxes have risen.
Last year, village and town officials did everything they could to convince the County Legislature of their need. “We ended up flat begging them,” White said. But it was all to no avail.
Instead the Legislature passed a revamped sale-tax plan proposed by County Executive Joanie Mahoney which benefited the city of Syracuse while hurting towns and villages.
The razzle-dazzle maneuver managed to lower county property taxes slightly while forcing localities to hike its levies. The long-term purpose, White’s convinced, is to strong-arm towns and villages into consolidating services with-who else?-Onondaga County.
“I was extremely discouraged and disturbed by the actions of our county legislators,” White said. “Their actions were very disingenuous.”
Village Trustee Dennis Hebert, a professional financial analyst, predicted that when election time rolls around this fall, “Those legislators will tell you they worked hard to get you a tax decrease of $1.32 [per $1,000 assessed value], but they won’t tell you what they took away.”
Who’s fooling who? Think about it.
When it comes to model railroads, Kevin Besser and Bill Long know how to lay the track and power the engines. Kevin operates Besser’s Whistlestop at the Tracks, 2731 Brundage Road, in Baldwinsville; 638-6448.
He and Long engineered the new toy train-a.k.a. the Reading Railroad-now chugging along its ceiling-suspended track in the Children’s Room at Liverpool Public Library. Even for adults, the New York Central model is a thing of beauty.
Kevin and Bill were on hand May 16 when the ribbon was cut to christen the library’s Reading Railroad.
All Things New
A Christian rock band named All Things New is scheduled to perform a free concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at Washington Park. The born-again quintet includes guitarists David Bender and Steve Popp, saxophonist Dave Mazur Jr., bassist/keyboardist John Laurin and drummer Tony Ariola. Among the band’s song titles are “The Son Will Shine,” “Rend The Heavens” and “The Power of The Cross.” In case of rain, the show will be rescheduled, Laurin said.
Rockin’ outside Retreat
You know it’s summertime when they’re rockin’ on the patio at The Retreat. The Liverpool landmark serving legal beverages since 1972 at 302 Vine St. has booked more than 75 free outdoor performances over the warm weather months.
For instance, guitarist-singer Michael Crissan plays classic rock on the deck at 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, while Frenay & Lenin harmonize on everything from Buddy Holly to the Hollies from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 26; 457-6398.
Indoors at Limp Lizard
Over at the new Limp Lizard Lounge at 201 First St., live music rings out Thursday through Saturday nights indoors in the back dining room. There’s no cover charge.
The Shakedown – Sean Taylor, Sue Royal, Matt Zych and Shane Kelsen – perform music from The Beatles to The Band at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11. On June 16, the Lisa Lee Trio plugs in, and on June 17 the zippy Z-Bones return.
On June 23, don’t miss The Jabrones featuring Syracuse’s most electrifying guitar player, Tim Harrington; 451-9774.