Joking, to a Point, About a Property Tax Cap
By Thomas Kaplan
ALBANY - Unable to afford shoulder pads, the members of the high school football team swaddle themselves with pillows before taking the field. Emergency dispatchers have been replaced by an automated system to save money. After teacher layoffs, school principals are calling for volunteers to teach basic subjects.
Welcome to Bad Cap City, what your city might look like if the State Legislature votes to limit local property taxes. At least that's the picture painted by the state's largest teachers' union.
A spoof Web site pretending to be a news station in Bad Cap City presents all of the above situations, plus some even more far-fetched. It even comes with fake advertisements, including a for-hire garbage pickup ("Call today to take the smell away") and a $49.95 per month service to speed up emergency response times.
"Possible news from a bad tax cap future," the Web site explains...
The site, which went online two weeks ago, is a product of the New York State United Teachers and New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, a liberal advocacy group whose backers include several major unions.
"Obviously, more and more there's a place for social media and the Web and we're taking a role in that format," Richard C. Iannuzzi, the president of New York State United Teachers, said in a telephone interview.
"This gives us an opportunity to use satire as at least one part of the approach to a really bad idea, which is the kind of tax cap that just passed the Senate," he added. "There's got to be a place for some levity in the absurdity of the outcomes this particular cap would create."