Kingston Uptown Resident Alliance (KURA) Hosts “How To Appeal Your Property Assessment”

Property Taxes

For some time, I have not only been impressed by KURA (Kingston Uptown Residents Association) but am ever so grateful to have smarts like that on the case of some very pressing issues here in the city of Kingston. They have successfully hosted meetings to expose residents to important information while tackling the complications of such topics as Kingston’s Nuisance Abatement law, the city’s budget and the confusion of our citywide reval and tax structure.

I had the great pleasure to meet and listen to Gerald and Victoria at Ward 1’s community meeting this past February (by the way, if you haven’t yet seen Ward 1 Alderman Andi Turco-Levin’s blog yet, you must.  She is doing an exceptional job at City Hall and in reaching out and listening to her constituents. I highly recommend you bookmark her BLOG ).

On Tuesday, April 20th KURA will host another public information meeting at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston (272 Wall Street) on “How To Appeal Your Property Assessment”. Guest speakers will be Ken Brett, member of the City of Kingston Board of Assessment Review and Mark Grunblatt, Real Estate Attorney in Kingston.

Of course, it must be noted that learned of  Karen Vetere during the now defunct homeowners tax relief group meeting back a year or more ago. Before and since then, Karen has been extremely helpful in working with residents through the maze of making sure their house values and tax increases were correct. There are many who experienced a doubling in their taxes over the course of a year, almost taxing them right out of their homes in one fell swoop.  In fact, it’s still a real possibility as things currently are.

Sometimes, the city of Kingston officials seem to work against its citizens with a lack of good planning. That’s not to say there aren’t good people working in city government. What I’m trying to get at here, is that in order for this all to work as it was intended, the citizens need to take an ongoing active role in it all. You mustn’t grumble over it either.  Part of the problem is due to a lack of involvement and oversight by the people.

We need to be paying close attention now and we need to stay the course on whatever issue calls us. Constructive changes don’t occur overnight.

Thanks to those mentioned in this post, and to all of the citizen groups new and old who are working to make the city a cool place to live while trying to incorporate every single one of it’s residents so to nurture it into the rich and diverse community that it is meant to be.

Affordable Healthcare in New York State

As the country struggles to find a sound solution to universal healthcare, we all know many  who are without it.

Back in 2008, I did a little research that I’d like to repost and share with all of you. Below are three options for affordable and in some cases FREE healthcare available to NY State residents who qualify.  Remember that in New York State even someone with a pre-existing condition can receive coverage.

As things change from year to year with healthcare companies,  you might discover new details to the information below. If you do, simply state them in the comment section of this post.

– Rebecca Martin

1. First up, there is great local company in Kingston called Benefit Counseling Associates. DianaLou Wolff can help you to find the most appropriate healthcare provider at NO COST to the subscriber. I took advantage of her services for my family several years ago and had a great experience. Today, I have the best plan that I could afford because of her expertise and assistance. She helped cut through all the red tape and is there as well anytime you have a problem with your insurance company. Call her at: 845/339-1186


COST: Healthcare for a single person as low as $260 per month (with prescriptions)
* This is a New York State program designed to give all people (single/families) health care at an affordable cost.

To Apply:
Individuals and Sole Proprietors Application
Small Employers Application

To Qualify –  Click this LINK to see if you are eligible.
– You must be a New York State Resident.
– Not eligible for medicare (65 +) or disabled.
– Have not had health care for at least a year unless you have lost your insurance due to an involuntary event (lost job, dropped from Cobra plan, etc).
– Meet monthly income qualifications.


COST: FREE to those who qualify

This is another New York State program available to single adults, couples with children and parents with limited income. There is no initial application process. If you feel you would qualify, please call the number above – 877-934-7587. The operator will direct you to a facilitator in your County for an interview.

To Qualify:

– You must be a resident of NY State.
– Be between the ages of 19 and 64
– Have no other health insurance
– Limited assets


COST: Free or minimal cost Health Insurance for your child

For eligibility, click on this LINK or call 800-698-4543.