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Latimer Letter: Astorino Increased Your Taxes – Check for Yourself on the City of Rye Web Site

As part of the County Executive race, Rob Astorino has attacked George Latimer for unpaid taxes on a Rye property (the property belonged to his mother in law and the estate is still being sorted). 

Now in a letter in MyRye.com, Latimer is telling voters Astorino has raised property taxes – and he is inviting citizens to use a City of Rye web site to prove it. Latimer suggests citizens compare their county taxes from 2011 to what they paid in 2017.

In fact, searching in Latimer's own house (47 Wainwright Street, Rye NY) shows Astorino has raised property tax on Latimer's own house 32% from $2,790.98 in 2011 to $3,689.42. Let's see if MyRye.com gets a comment from Astorino's spokesperson on this one.

47 Wainwright Street Rye NY

(PHOTO: Rob Astorino raised taxes on Latimer's home in Rye 32% in just six years.)

Read Latimer's letter:

From  State Senator and Westchester County Executive candidate George Latimer:

To MyRye.com:

Since we're talking about taxes in the County Executive race, the City of Rye government website has a page where you can search the tax record of any parcel. It shows you the last decade of School, County and City taxes for whatever property you look up.

Rob Astorino has stated in his press and his numerous mailings that he's held the line on property taxes. So go into this database and look at your personal property taxes. Compare the 2011 County taxes you paid to the 2017 County taxes. You'll see there's a big increase in your County taxes. Big increase, not "holding the line". See for yourself.

While you're at it, search my name. You'll see one property come up – 47 Wainwright St. And you'll see all my taxes have paid. I don't own any other property in Rye.

On Election Day, if you think Rob is a better choice than me, vote for him. But before you vote, know the truth about how much taxes I've paid, and know the truth about how much taxes you've paid


George Latimer

  1. Yes Astorino raised taxes on Rye, big time. He’s also an incompetent & corrupt politician as the uncollected $7M at the County Airport can attest along with the farcical no-bid deal he then pushed with Oaktree.

    You on the other hand have news coming out of New Rochelle this evening that will contribute to your own falling credibility issues. How you could imaging that all of this wouldn’t be exposed by legitimate media investigative reporting is frankly beyond me.

  2. Ted
    No falling credibility at all. The conservative blogger Cox joins in the Character Assassination which is essential to the incumbent beating me. The unfortunately accident had no credibility issues: no speeding, no drinking, no ticket. Plenty of witnesses, so nothing to sweep under the rug. The insurance companies are handling the claim.

    But… You’ve often imputed motives and actions to me that were fanciful. Just because I’m an elected official. Every one can see Rob is dropping big $$$ to beat me. Nasty stuff. But I just stay normal every day —

    My biggest crime? I’m calling out the CE on his record: Playland, the Airport, the true story on taxes. The people will decide. I’ll trust in them, not bloggers with an agenda.

  3. NEW ROCHELLE NY: October 10, 2017 – John C. Gallagher, Jr. the former Director of Environmental Services for the City School District of New Rochelle, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in White Plains federal court to bribery in connection with a scheme to solicit bribes from an outside contractor to channel school district business to the contractor’s company.

    Gallagher is facing 37 to 46 months in federal prison, a fine of up to $75,000, restitution of $125,000, and up to three years probation under plea agreement which describes three past drunk driving convictions.

    The guilty plea was accounted by Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York who’s office originated its original investigation based on the reporting of Robert Cox, publisher of Talk of the Sound, a New Rochelle NY hyper-local digital newspaper.

    Mr. Cox has reported on extensive corruption in the City School District of New Rochelle for 9 years. For most of that time, Mr. Cox was harassed and defamed by senior public officials in New Rochelle including the School Board and School Administration, City Government, Local Courts, Police Department and more.

    In 2013, Mr. Cox took his extensive records and reporting to the Westchester County DA which protected John Gallagher, the son of a former senior law enforcement official in nearby Suffolk County, NY. Local law enforcement & courts then began a series of retaliatory actions against Mr. Cox to try and discredit his reporting.

    Mr. Cox also took the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice, which unlike the Westchester District Attorney did pursue the case.

    The Gallagher action of October 10th is expected to lead to more federal charges, arrests & convictions.

    Mr. Cox’s reporting is summarized in a to-date 20+ part Talk of the Sound series entitled “New Rochelle Board of Education: Criminal Enterprise Masquerading as an Educational Institution.”

    George Latimer’s 37 NY Senate District includes New Rochelle where numerous local news reports and photographs describe and show his frequent interactions with various New Rochelle School Board and School Administration, City Government, Local Courts, Police Department and more. These interactions are part of Mr. Latimer’s job.

    Mr. Latimer knows he is slurring Mr. Cox and his bi-partisan anti-corruption work in New Rochelle by characterizing him below here variously as an ‘incredible conservative blogger bent on character assassination.’ This is an exercise in the truly sad and even desperate.

    All this above stipulated, those that know me know I remain 100% committed to the removal of Rob Astorino and Kevin Plunkett from Westchester County Government by supporting the election to the position of County Executive next month of George Latimer. It’s high time Astro-Plunkett’s reign of deep incompetence & corruption ends, along with their steep community-selective multi-year county property tax increases, their devastating mismanagement of Playland and the County Airport, and their pay-to-play culture in Plunkett’s LDC projects and pretty much elsewhere.

    Mr. Latimer and County Democrats have their own checkered tax-and-spend past but hopefully they have learned their lessons from their years in the wilderness and will practice honest governance for a change. And if they do that’s a big improvement and essential for average taxpayers considering leaving for another state because they are convinced nothing here in The Corridor of Corruption will ever change for the better.

    Vote for George Latimer, Democrat for County Executive.

  4. Facts have to matter in campaigns, and it is a verified fact that County Executive Rob Astorino has never raised the county property tax levy — for seven, going on eight straight years (Politifact link below.)

    When Mr. Astorino came into office in 2010, the tax levy — what taxpayers have to pay the county — was $560 million. It is $548 million today, 2% less over seven years. That’s a fact.

    Any increases in tax bills come from increased STATE taxes, which Senator Latimer well knows. Every year, Albany, using one if its classic arcane “equalization formulas,” shifts the percentage of tax dollars assigned to various parts of our bills. That’s why people will see fluctuations. Again, Senator Latimer knows this, but he’s unfortunately chosen to disseminate patently false misinformation for political gain.

    It is indisputable that Rob Astorino has held the line on taxes, just as he promised to. Please see Politifact below for independent verification.



    William F.B. O’Reilly
    Spokesman, Friends of Rob Astorino

  5. Sorry Mr O’Reilly – you say tax levy, I say tax. My property taxes due the County have gone up by over 12%. So, Mr. Astorino has not maintained his pledge to keep PROPERTY TAXES fixed or reduced for Rye residents. He may have done so for residents of other parts of the county, but only because he’s increased our taxes. Nice going.

  6. My county taxes and many others have gone up 25% since Astorino took office.

    Thanks to Joe Sack my 2017 Rye taxes went up 7% due to fiscal mismanagement and exorbitant legal fees. 7% increase while our roads are in horrible shape and our infrastructure is crumbling.

    Sack hired a $195,000 a year City Manager who apparently needs his wife’s help just to write simple memorandums.

    Sack may have fired Pickup but he also hired him with much praise and fanfare when he did.

    Sack has concealed his Rye e-mails. Why?

    Sack is concealing the Breen Investigation Report that was paid for by taxpayers to explain to the public how, why and who stole and/or facilitated $5,000,000 from the RGC. Who is Sack protecting? Himself?

    Wasn’t Sack the RGC liaison when $5,000,000 walked out the door?

    Isn’t Rye under investigation for possible insurance fraud for one of their RGC insurance claims? Why won’t Sack release the legal fees Rye’s lawyers received from the settlement?

    It seems to me that Sack was less than truthful about the Thruway property fiasco and has perhaps cost our kids and taxpayers free use of the fields that Rye Country Day wanted to build there with their money, not ours. Why no public discussion or other city council input when Sack sent veto letter to Cuomo?

    Why did Sack drag his feet on a new master plan? Was it so developers could get the zoning changes, variances and other approvals they needed to make $$$$$$$ first?

  7. Uh Oh.

    “Who is George Latimer? – A 10-Part Series by Talk of the Sound”

    From Part 1 –

    “Over the past three weeks, George Latimer has lied to me and about me and encouraged others to lie about me on his behalf. And I have had enough.

    Readers have often asked when I would respond to Latimer’s attacks on me and Talk of the Sound. I tweeted that I would respond at a time and place of my choosing. Today is the day and this is the place.

    So let me begin by observing a bit about my experience with George Latimer and a bit about myself and Talk of the Sound.

    To not know George is to like him. From a safe distance he is an affable, gregarious bear of a man. Up close, in the trenches, asking him tough questions as a reporter, my impression has changed. I now see George Latimer as one of the most accomplished liars in the New York State Legislature which for world-class liars like George Latimer is like the World Cup, Super Bowl and Summer Olympics all rolled into one.”

    Series Link – (cut & paste link into your browser)


  8. All of the rumors and stories come from one source: New Rochelle Talk of the Sound, Robert Cox. Cox has made it a mission to attack every Democrat elected in New Rochelle and those on the School Board as well. His political leanings are clear. Don’t take my word for it – go through his archives.

    Where there IS a legitimate public scandal – is Rob Astorino taking campaign money and a discounted Rolex from two scoundrels for police Chaplain placards (aka free parking passes). This places Rob squarely in the middle of a bribery accusation, in Federal court testimony. This is a serious and career-ending scandal. But see if Cox covers this at any level of interest.

    Voters can vote for me or against me as they see fit. They can vote up or down based on my public record. my party affiliation or
    for any other reason under the sun.

    Attacking me for my wife’s house – calling me a deadbeat; accusing me of lying to the police after a simple car accident; finding something sinister in simply aggregating my car tickets payments at year’s end as I usually do, and scoring me for that…all of this smacks of throw anything against the wall and see if it sticks.

    For three straight Senate races, GOP operatives have accused me of anything and everything so they could win a seat they assumed would be theirs. Now I threaten their patronage control of the County and things ramp up a notch.

    If Rob had been a superlative CE, there’d be no need to slash and burn me like this. But he’s not talking about his record, he’s trying his best to impugn my personal reputation as a path to victory.

    If that type of politics moves you, then vote for Rob. But stop calling me names, and respect that I have worked hard for people over a long time. Beat me on the merits of your ideas, not trolling through the garbage can and sewer.

    It’s a wonder why anybody subjects themselves to this in order to serve in public office.

  9. I’m sure Mr. Cox can weigh in on this mischaracterization of his innovative digital newspaper if he wants, but let’s be clear, it was a Rye City resident baring you malice, George, who I believe blew our tax assessor’s secrets to LoHud and thus far and wide.

    And knowing you were running and competing in the primary with Ken (“Can a black man win a county wide race in Westchester?”) Jenkins, you and your sorry local media disciples DID NOTHING to inform and thus inoculate county voters about this issue well in advance, allowing Astro-Plunkett to blow it into a regional hurricane.

    Our Rye City tax assessor then iced this poison cake by allowing your wife a retain a 2nd STAR tax exemption on that property for 5 long years – the same NYS Felony level illegal “gift” she gave to ex-mayor Douglas French for 10 years. She then used the same excuse – inadvertent error – that she’s using again for you now.

    There’s a reason my monthly Rye City corruption columns here on MyRye are so widely read and quoted. There’s a reason that a select few of your Rye City resident campaign contributors get selectively low tax assessment treatment (and building department $$ favors) and that the Rye City attorney makes darn sure certain lawful Rye City FOIL requests go unanswered and even unacknowledged.

    These improper Rye City Hall politico & donor favors are the chickens coming back to roost, George. And a fouler set of fowls their simply isn’t.

    Imagine what this campaign could have been.

    Vote For George Latimer – Democrat For County Executive.

  10. Let me take George Latimer’s silly statements, point by point.

    “All of the rumors and stories come from one source: New Rochelle Talk of the Sound, Robert Cox.”

    This is a nice change from a few weeks ago when “the source” was Rob Astorino so at least George Latimer is giving me some credit for all my hard work. It is also an indictment of the local media, a view I share. So, on these two things at least, George Latimer and I can agree.

    Here are the stories that came from me that I have run on Talk of the Sound or ran elsewhere (at least those of which I am aware):

    Talk of the Sound:

    – Car Crash
    – Suspended Registration
    – Rebutted False Claim of Marital Fidelity
    – Skipping Senate Budget Votes to Vacation in UK with Judge Kettner
    – White Plains Parking Tickets Showed Use of Unregistered Jeep

    The Journal News:

    – Driving Jeep with Suspended License to Get Coffee in Rye
    – White Plains Parking Tickets Showed Use of Unregistered Jeep


    – Skipping Senate Budget Votes to Vacation in UK with Judge Kettner

    New York Post:

    – Skipping Senate Budget Votes to Vacation in UK with Judge Kettner

    These stories are all true and some of them contain on-the-record statements by George Latimer later proven to be untrue. These stories are well documented with Police Records, Parking Bureau Records, New York State Senate Voting Records, and numerous on-the-record sources including the Department of Motor Vehicles and public officials. I do not recall any “rumors” being printed or broadcast by any of these news outlets.

    “made it a mission to attack every Democrat elected in New Rochelle and those on the School Board as well”

    Even if this were true, and it’s not, how would this make my reporting about George Latimer more or less accurate? Simple. It would not. As noted in my series 97% of all elected and appointed positions in New Rochelle are held by Democrats. There are 114 positions that require a financial disclosure form, 3 of them are Republicans, 111 are Democrats. So, it would not be unusual for my reporting to cover Democrats. Even given that very few of my multi-part investigative pieces have even mentioned elected officials let alone Democratic elected officials.

    What George Latimer fails to mention is that up until a month ago, over the past decade, I had NEVER written a story critical of him. Any announcement he wanted published I ran, I have always re-tweeted any tweets about him in New Rochelle, and he and I have never had a cross word between us until the weekend before I ran the car crash when he suddenly became hostile and combative, insulting me and dismissing my attempts to let him tell his side of the story. And then he lied to me, and lied about me just as he continues to lie, like here today in his posted comment.

    I would ask George Latimer to produce any evidence that he and I ever had anything other than an amicable relationship until the weekend when I asked him a set of perfectly reasonable questions about his car crash in July.

    In the past I have been critical of the Mayor of New Rochelle, a Democrat, but have never done an investigative report on him; I have never said or even thought he is corrupt and never printed any such statement.

    In the past, I have been critical of the New Rochelle Board of Education as a body for their years of failure to meet their fiduciary responsibility to provide financial oversight to address rampant corruption. Four years ago I gave up on them and went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office; it took a while but six months ago they began handing down federal corruption indictments based on the massive amount of information I provided to the DOJ over the course of several rather long sessions in their White Plains offices. They have, so far, secured the convictions of two of the primary players in my school corruption stories.

    I did go after one particular board member, a Democrat, after documenting how he misappropriated school funds for his personal use, getting teacher’s medical insurance for himself and his family for the better of a year without paying for it. As a result of my reporting he was forced to pay back $13,500 to the District and then dropped out of the school insurance program.

    I might also mention George Latimer’s girlfriend, Judge Susan Kettner, a Democrat. I learned she was making illegal campaign contributions while a judicial candidate and after she was sworn in as a Judge. Among the contributions was $2,000 to George Latimer. I wrote about it but did not “attack” George for it. New York State law prohibits judicial candidates and judges from making most types of political contributions before and in the six months after an election, and then never after that. In at least one case I was able to document, Kettner sought the return of $500 donated to a City Council Member’s re-election campaign.

    I do not “attack” anyone based on their political party I “report” on corruption regardless of party. I am sure having their crimes exposed FEELS like an “attack” to them but that’s their problem.

    “Don’t take my word for it – go through his archives.”

    By all means, go through the archives (always happy to have more readers). If you take George Latimer’s suggestion you will see that he is lying. The vast majority of the content in the archives – over 95% – is general news, mostly sports, obituaries, meeting announcements, school news, and so forth. A tiny percentage of our articles are about politics. But when you operate in a “one-stoplight” media-ecosystem like Westchester, bereft of much original and investigative reporting, any criticism of a politician like George Latimer may seem hugely magnified.

    “But see if Cox covers this at any level of interest.”

    This seems to be a common theme with criticism from Latimer supporters – that I need to cover some other story for my story to be true. My coverage area is New Rochelle. If I cover County or State business it is typically because there is some New Rochelle connection.

    In recent weeks I covered a car crash in New Rochelle which opened up the registration suspension and parking ticket stories. I also responded to an absurd claim to Jon Craig that his opponent was “circulating” false “rumors” of marital infidelity; absurd because while his opponent was not circulating anything about his personal life, George Latimer’s philandering is well-known in New Rochelle where Judge Kettner, his girlfriend, lives and works.

    If Rob Astorino crashed a car in New Rochelle I would report on it too.

    “accusing me of lying to the police after a simple car accident”

    I have laid out an inarguable, airtight, mathematical case that George Latimer lied to the police and stand by it 100%. Read the article, linked in the story posted by tedc and decide for yourself. The police report is posted as well so folks can see what George Latimer told the police and why it could not be true.

    “finding something sinister in simply aggregating my car tickets payments at year’s end as I usually do”

    First, the issue is not simply not paying your parking tickets or aggregating them annually, but that between 4/1/17 and 7/22/17 you drove your Jeep with an EXPIRED registration and between 7/22/17 and late October you drove your Jeep with a SUSPENDED registration. And this is not the first time.

    Second, even this simple statement about paying your tickets annually, “at year’s end is a lie. White Plains records show on 3/12/11 you were issued a $20 ticket, you paid $60 in fines and late fees on 12/26/14, 33 months late. On 4/28/13 you were issued a $50 ticket, you paid $170 in fines and late fees on 12/26/14, 20 months late. On 5/28/13 you were issued a $25 ticket, you paid $80 in fines and late fees on 12/26/14, 19 months late. On 6/20/16 you were issued a $50 ticket, you paid $50 in fines and no late fees on 9/15/17, 15 months late.

    Third, only White Plains has released parking ticket information for your Jeep. I am still waiting for records from Yonkers, Port Chester, Village of Mamaroneck and Town of Mamaroneck. Perhaps you will release all of them, from every municipality,. So, there are likely to be more issues coming. So far, there are 9 documented examples of you driving your Jeep with an expired or suspended registration, 7 in White Plains alone.

    Referring to Rob Astorino, “trying his best to impugn my personal reputation” and “trolling through the garbage can and sewer.”.

    George Latimer is the person who first raised the issue of marital fidelity in the campaign — and he lied about it and used that lie and the lie that his opponent was circulating “rumors” (i.e., facts).

    Who is George Latimer? A 10-Part Series


  11. In comes Latimer, there is a God, and out goes Plunkett, Meehan, and DSS Commissioner McGuire. It is time for Mayor-elect Cohn, there is a Son and a Holy Spirit, to step up to the plate and put the not so honorable Joseph L. Latwin into State sponsored retirement.


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