Is The NY Middle Class Being Nickel And Dimed To Death?

January 26, 2016 at 9:34 am Leave a comment


The latest example of how the New York middle class is being pushed to the breaking point comes courtesy of Long Island.

It goes without saying that whenever politicians talk about holding the line on taxes, you can bet fees are going to go up; but my Long Island brethren are taking this to an extreme. The fees homeowners have to pay for processing real estate transactions in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are going through the roof.  Even if you are one of those Up-Staters, who proudly proclaim that they have never driven on the Long Island Expressway and never ever will, the story is worth noting.  Many counties across the state are both looking for funds and trying to keep taxes down.

Just how bad is it on Long Island? According to the January 15th issue of the Long Island Business News, 2016 has seen fees increase as much as 300 percent, causing closing costs to rise to as much as $2,000. According to the paper, real estate fees now cost the Nassau County home owner $1,920 in Nassau, $945.50 in Suffolk but only $345 in Westchester.  Just how ridiculous is it?  A Mortgage Satisfaction Letter now costs $570.50 in Nassau County and $245 in Suffolk but “only” $120 in Westchester and $112 in NYC.  It costs $645 to record a deed in Nassau, $315 in Suffolk but only $120 in Westchester.

I know some of you are saying that this is the price people choose to pay for living on Long Island; the problem is that these fees are inherently regressive. They have to be paid by everyone regardless of whether or not they scrimped and saved to buy a relatively modest starter home or their dream home.  Also, you are talking about areas that already have among the highest recording taxes in the nation.

Besides Nassau and Suffolk are extreme examples of what troubles me about the State as a whole. While there are many areas in the state where people can be assured of their kids getting a world-class education; the middle class is being nickeled and dimed out of existence and being forced to pay for the maintenance of government services that are simply not sustainable.  A nephew of mine in his twenties has moved to Austin and if I was in my twenties I would go south as well.  That’s where the growth is.  Low taxes and warm weather are an attractive combination.



Entry filed under: General, Mortgage Lending, New York State. Tags: .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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