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Norwood taxes

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To The Editor:

Increased assessments and higher taxes, when does it ever end? I believe that we all have to pay our fair share of taxes and I have for 36 years on my home on Lakeshore Drive, Norwood.

My questions and concerns are directed to all assessors and elected officials of Norwood and Potsdam that are involved in my assessment and higher taxes. I would also like to include St. Lawrence County with that group of individuals seeing they get the biggest share of my tax dollars.

To start with I would suggest that all these individuals walk Lakeshore Drive from the Lobster House to the Norwood boat launch to see the poor and unsafe road conditions first hand. Maintaining a safe and proper roadway is a service I pay for, but received nothing for years.

While on your walk I would also suggest you take note of the one or two fire hydrants at each end of the road with nothing in between. That really helps me with fire protection, which is also a portion of my taxes. You will also notice an increase in road traffic to and from the arena, town beach and the boat launch to attend all the additional special interest and individual activities during the summer months.

This should cause some concern also because of the lack of road upkeep and an unregulated speed limit.

I am quite surprised that all the organizations that sponsor events at the arena, beach and boat launch haven’t raised safety concerns. Two big events are the Norwood Lake Association boat or ski doo races and the summer series of run, bike and swim races.

It would be shocking, or maybe not to all Norwood and Potsdam town, village and St. Lawrence County elected officials, to document all the tax dollars they collected from taxpayers on Lakeshore Drive, Norwood and explain where the tax dollars were spent, because we didn’t see any of our tax dollars at work for us.

I would ask the assessor how he calculated a nearly $10,000 increase in my assessment. In the past three years I have had my property professionally appraised by fully licensed people for local banking institutions and every appraisal came back nearly $25,000 to $30,000 less than your assessment. How do you explain your increase? With all due respect I think you need a new calculator and you need to do a fair assessment of my property and all the others on Lakeshore Drive.

Just an observation and my opinion only, when some town and villages have created, maintained and funded for years such things as public libraries and all of the sudden they decide they no longer want responsibility, they have a vote to burden the taxpayer with that cost.

Usually less than 200 people vote; many who don’t pay taxes. They make the decision to shift the burden to the taxpayers, a group which number more than 200 people. I hope this practice does not become the norm because taxpayers can’t take any more cost shifting and permanent new taxes on our tax bills.

I have voted for and support many of our elected officials for many years. I have also supported and continue to support many of the special interest organizations in our local communities.

In the past several years, the leadership and actions continuously burden taxpayers when it comes to higher assessments and higher taxes. It would be quite satisfying, for once, to see a fair and equal assessment and taxation system. Also that the elected officials do what the taxpaying voters elected them to do, not pet projects and catering to special interests to which these elected officials also belong to when the requests and decisions are made.

John H. Hicks

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