Thinking Twice: Public Welfare Charges

As a homeowner, I have had the option to escrow my taxes in my monthly mortgage payment.  Makes it easier that way to break it up into 12 payments.

With the recent Safety Net debacle, I took notice of the public welfare charge that I pay and wondered about whether or not I wanted to do that any longer.

Knowing that the city has been collecting this money for a decade without any kind of oversight is completely upsetting and shouldn’t be allowed to be shrugged off. Ever wonder what else has been handled in the same way locally with your hard earned tax dollars?

Reading in the Freeman this week that the county audit turned up $64,000 in overpayments for this year alone –  I wondered what would become of that money once it was returned to the city of Kingston. It’s not a general tax. It is something completely outside of our city and school tax that Kingston citizens have been paying (and it seems overpaying) for years.

I personally want my share back.

The Mayor wishes to do his own audit – and there may be a lawsuit to boot.  Both are the right thing to do but both will cost tax payers money. Alot of money. All of it could have been avoided had the bills been looked at each month. It’s all unfortunate, and embarrassing for City Hall you can bet.

The way the Safety Net is handled has got to change, and I think the legislatures recent position on it remaining the same really stinks. 

You can’t blame a citizen for thinking twice on participating in the public welfare charge in the city of Kingston. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of our neighboring municipalities not taking more responsibility for their own – and others making a profit on the poor.

Enough is enough.

Ulster County Safety Net Standoff Intensifies

Kingston Overbilled For Welfare by $64,000 in 2009

3 thoughts on “Thinking Twice: Public Welfare Charges”

  1. That was not money that bypassed procedures… It was an address error. And it is an open conspiracy and and a usurpation by the majority to place Kingston as the seat of county welfare. Then again, Kingston is the county sear, so why not.

  2. You are right about wondering what else has fallen thru the cracks due to an oversight. I am flabbergasted that we pay bills without checking the invoice. I know I always check a credit card statement before I pay and look at every charge for its validity. It is just disheartening to see our hard earned money being mismanaged. $64,000 could have kept a couple of people employed in the city who were laid off or paid for some programs we had to cut.
    Unfortunately, we might have to go to court. Our county politicians are going to be hard to budge without putting a boot to their butts and perhaps they will listen to a judge. It seems like we cannot do anything in the present administration with out going to court.(harassment, grievances,union issues and now this)
    I wonder how far back we can go to see how much was paid in error.

    • Good morning Debbie!

      $64,000 could have been used to do many good things, but we need to all look at our tax bill. That money is collected as a ‘public welfare charge’ outside of the scope of our county/city/school tax portion. That means, that that money is specifically being used for the safety net – and that overpayment should not be put back into the general tax fund. That money instead should be distributed back to each and every citizen who overpaid.


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