Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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August 26, 2013

Napoli 'speaks for small towns' in front of state committee


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “I reminded them that not everybody has access to the Internet yet and they seemed a bit shocked. When I added that there are some rural homes still using wells for water, they seemed even more taken aback,” Napoli said.

As for the SAFE Act, Napoli said its passage was contradictory to the 2nd Amendment and it should be repealed. He added that having it on the books directly affects tourism in places the size of Ridgeway as fewer hunting licenses have been sold, leading to less of an economic boost from visiting hunters.

Perhaps one of the most interesting issues Napoli raised was that of property assessments. He noted how Ridgeway is up to date with its assessments, but some areas in the downstate metro area and on Long Island have been working off assessments that are roughly 40 years old.

“Their jaws dropped,” Napoli said of the state officials. “They didn’t realize that was the case.”

Theoretically, homes with higher assessed values pay more in taxes. However, if an entire municipality goes through a reassessment and the majority of home values increase, it also stands to reason that the tax rate would in fact decrease. In other words, Napoli said, things would even themselves out.

Since some reassessments have not been done, he said the state should enforce non-compliance penalties.

As for taxes, Napoli said New York state should jump to the forefront of tax reform and create a flat tax so that “everyone pays something” while simultaneously doing away with the “incompetent tax code.”

On his longer list, which Napoli did not get a chance to discuss, he called out the State for catering to a segment of the population that has taken the phrase “playing the system” to a new level. He provided the committee with ideas he “borrowed” on ways to fix welfare and Medicaid. 

“I hope they heard what I had to say,” Napoli said. “They seemed to be listening, and at least one said he’d look into things.”

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