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Response to Legislator Castiglia’s Letter

To The Editor:

This is in regard to County Legislator Frank Castiglia’s recent letter to the editor. I’m going to try to shed some truth on his scattered and random thoughts.

He starts out saying that last year taxes went up and this year fees are going up.

While it’s true taxes went up last year, we started at a projected increase of 24% but the mayor, city chamberlain, department heads and Common Council worked hard to get it down to a 3% increase and still maintain the city services. He claims that fees are the same as taxes. Fees are not the same as taxes.

Taxes are what you pay for general city services. Fees are what you pay for specific services and generally a professional service. If you draw up a will you don’t pay an attorney’s tax, you pay the attorney’s fee. If you have a medical procedure done you don’t pay a surgeon’s tax, you pay the surgeon’s fee.

He said: “fees for improving your house in any shape or form may start to cost you more.”

He also went on to say: “if you improve your home your assessment will go up.”

Both of those statements are wrong. You can make lots of improvements to your house without a fee. You can make repairs, paint, do landscaping and replace window and doors and you don’t have to pay a fee and your assessment won’t go up. I don’t know where he comes up with these scattered-brained ideas but he should really learn about assessments and how they are derived before he makes a fool of himself and worse, mislead the public.

We are looking at certain fees now because they haven’t been adjusted in years and we’re working on bringing them up to a level equal to other municipalities in our area. We want the fee to cover the cost of performing the service.

For example, if a code enforcement officer has to go to a rental unit to do an inspection, the fee should cover the cost of that inspection. That way the taxpayers in the city are not subsidizing the business of landlords, many of whom don’t live in the city.

He went on to say that there should be a discount for this and that and I wonder, how many more people would it take to keep track of all those discounts.

He then said, and this is where he really goes off the deep end, “it won’t be long before they start making us pay for parking in any city owned parking lot. They have already started with a two-hour parking in parts of downtown.” How he made the leap from paying for parking to a two hour limit is beyond me. The two-hour limit downtown was to allow local shoppers to find parking spots. Without the two-hour limit, downtown employees and people who parked downtown all day and took a bus to Syracuse would use up the parking spots.

We have no intentions of putting in parking meters.

He mentioned “pay Blue Boys.”

First, Blue Boy is an oil painting by Thomas Gainsborough. Blue Bowls, on the other hand, don’t come in a pay version as far as I know.

Talk about pay as you go. He said that he feels we will start charging to use the lake. That too is absolutely absurd as are his other claims. Where does he come up with these nutty ideas?

My final thoughts on this are, why does a person, an elected official, continue to make false claims and accusations and scaring our taxpayers into thinking they are going to be charged more when they are not. All the other county legislators look out for there districts so why can’t Legislator Castiglia try to help Fulton instead of tearing it down and hindering it’s progress?

Jim Myers, Fulton
Fourth Ward Alderman

16 Comments

  1. Thanks for clarifying the off the wall comments made by Mr. Castiglia. As it seems you are one of the few with common sense, could you convince the traffic engineer that an advanced green is needed to turn left and not right from the Oneida bridge onto 481? That intersection is absolutely the poorest engineered traffic signal in the city.

  2. One incontravertible truth Mr. Myers is per capita for size, the City of Fulton has the highest property
    taxes in New York State!

  3. I’ll look into that Noah. I agree it would make things easier but it involves a state highway (481) so I don’t know how much the city can do.

    Jay, I don’t know if what you say is true but I know that our assessments are lower than most cities therefore making our taxes lower. You have to look at both the tax rate and the assessment.

    Jim Myers

  4. Councilman you are now blowing smoke up you know where! The assessments are lower probably because the city is failing and the taxes are too high, hence nobody will buy in the city with deflating values of real estate! I believe you and the mayor are finding that out now because you kept scores of houses off the tax rolls with a ill advised program to get into the real estate flipping business. Now realizing holding them was a mistake because you can only get pennies on the dollar for them; unfortunately people are losing their homes, because they can’t afford the taxes and mortgages! Where else can you buy homes for $6,000 each as someone just did! I predict Fulton will not be a city in ten years it needs to consolidate services now and prepare for the title of “village”!

  5. Mr. Myers has as much common sense as a wooden nickle has any worth. Sorry Mr. Noah but you and your fellow councilor are lost in the real world. First in the private sector a few to perform a service is just that a few. But in the public sector when you and a few to a service you are already paying a tax to receive it is just another form of a tax. Everyone not a politician knows that. If Mr. Myers was a homeowner that paid taxes he would know that. Also when Mr. Castiglia says if you improve your home in any shape or form he means anything you have to get a permit for. You don’t change you shape of your home when you put windows in and you don’t need a permit to do that. But you would need one to increase the size of you house that is the shape of it. If you add a deck you are changing the form of it….Also how do you plan on paying for the lifeguards at the lake. How do you plan on paying for the cleaning everyday of the beach. How about the trash everyday. You are so lost to the real world Mr. Myers and Mr. Noah. The real people in this city know Mr. Castiglia knows what you are going to do. The rest of the letter was all fictions and meant to wake people up to what could be. Not what will be.

  6. Oh no…better get better at proof reading….that was to be fee not few…Oh well…Mr. Myers made a mistake with meaning “their” but printing “there”

  7. I am a home owner who pays taxes. I have the receipts to prove it. You really need to check your facts.

  8. Mr. Myers…I have checked the facts…the house you live in is in your mothers name…you don’t own it…check the real property tax rolls…also I heard your brother Jack pays your taxes for you….

  9. You have no idea what you’re talking about so I’m done responding to you. Since you seem to know about my family then it sounds like you are Frank hiding behind another non de plumme. Just like you do with your father’s nickname from his boxing days. Come out in the open Frank.

  10. Mr. Myers the info is common knowledge and some obtainable like I said thru the Real Property tax rolls. I’m flattered that you think I am Mr. Castiglia and if you want to keep on thinking I’m him so be it. But you can’t hide from the facts Mr. Myers. You don’t own a house in Oswego County anywhere and your little brother has to bail you out when you come up short.Why you are trying to hide from that fact is beyond me. Family should always help family.

  11. So who are you or are you like Frank is and has to hide in anonymity? By the way, all of what you just stated was wrong. You’re not doing very well.

  12. Now I see why you don’t understand what most of the general public get and understand. Even where I live I can look at the Oswego County Real Property Tax Rolls and see that you don’t own any property in Oswego County. If you can’t read and understand that then the city I grew up in is in more trouble than I thought. Also just asking anyone still living there know how your Younger brother bailed you out on more than one occasion(we won’t mention the other time) sad.

  13. Still hiding your identity I see. That’s okay, I’ll still try to straighten you out. Yes, my house is still in my mother’s name but my brother and I are the owners. My mother has been dead for 22 years, a wonderful woman but she hasn’t paid a dime in taxes since she died. I have been paying the taxes myself for the past 12 years. My younger brother has never bailed me out of anything. My brother and I did share paying the taxes prior to me taking them over. Anything else Frank?

  14. I really don’t why you insist on calling me Frank but that just goes along with your letters against Mr. Castiglia you will attack everything and anything when you are caught in a lie.

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