The following is a letter to the editor of The Journal News regarding the Town Supervisor not paying his property tax. The letter writer turned this into A scathing attack on Jews:
St. Lawrence knows ways to skip taxes
I am not at all surprised to read that Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence is in arrears for his property tax bill. (“Ramapo supervisor overdue on property taxes,” Dec. 21.) What surprises me is how he let this happen. Didn’t he learn anything from the precious voting bloc from Ramapo during his terms as supervisor?
First, St. Lawrence can declare himself a rabbi. Then he can make the house a yeshiva. Then he can demand tax-free status for the property.
If the Rabbinical College of Tartikov wins its lawsuit to build a rabbinical college in Pomona, he can apply to be a trained as a judge. After all, his degree from Harvard should count. Wait, he doesn’t have a degree from Harvard. No problem, the rabbinical college is not accredited anyway. If accepted, he gets 15 years of tax-free living.
Once he’s done there, he will be at retirement age anyway and can move to Florida like the rest of Rocklander retirees!
This is why “Save Ramapo .org had to be stopped. This being said the people who do cheat on taxes (at everyone else’s expense) should realize it is generating a lot of hatred. Most of the frum community doesn’t mind the building itself, but when it is done illegally, unsensibly, or inexplicably tax free under the guise of 1,000 apt. being a yeshiva we all suffer.
If you were sitting where they are, you would agree. It’s easy to use the “anti-semite” tag as soon as we don’t agree, however, in this case, there are MANY frum people who do agree with the letter writer.
It’s unfortunate, though we’ve created a horrible reputation for ourselves, and we know it. Unfortunatley for every home that becomes a shteibel/yeshiva and falls under a catagory of being untaxable, the rest of the the single family homeowners suffer. It’s an selfish lack of mechlichkeit/feinkeit.
I am sorry to tell you that Most of the Frum Community, DOES mind the building. Most of Downtown Monsey does not. There is nothing wrong with what the letter writer says. It is all true. Does the truth hurt? Than stop the overbuilding under the guise of a so called Rabbinical School. We have a Klal in Halacha that says as follows, those that are either Talmidei Chachamim, or are in a leadership position should know better than to sin, as if they do they will be held to a higher level of punishment. St Lawrence should understand that he is a person in the public eye, and under constant scrutiny, and therefore should be held to a higher level. If he cant afford the taxes, than sell the property.
This is not a case of blindly yelling Anti-Semite. Where are there Yidden involved in the paying of taxes (or lack there of) of Supervisor St. Lawernce?
1) I voted for CSL
2) Sending a letter to the paper is appropriate, I’m shocked that there weren’t pages of letters. 3) The supervisor should be ashamed of himself as any public official should be for being lax in their financial responsibilities to the town in which they serve and receive their pay check. Using it for political gain is acceptable.
With that said, turning his not paying his taxes into an ant-Jewish rant is beyond the pale of decency AND is pure Anti-semitism — from whatever seat you happen to be sitting in! If one cannot understand this, then, my suspicion is that they are blinded by their biased view.
Hate to say it (not really), but I do agree with the writer. I wouldn’t have written a letter to the media about it, but I feel the same way.
AND, I am a frum Jew.
some of has have just received part 2 of their tax bill
as they say it is the final nail in the coffin
it is hereby impossible to live in ramapo as a middle income person, paying tuitions, supporting children in kolel and trying to give any tzedaka
not one of our brethren in the tax free environments worry about skyrocketing health insurance, money for food or even rent as all are supported by……
it is sad to work your whole life to do the right things and at the end you are penalized for it and you pay +/- 20k in real estate taxes, because others who we are supporting are hurting us. the costs of re taxes Is like making a wedding every single year.
Are days are numbered to be able to afford and enjoy this beautiful town!
As Vincent Van Gogh famously said “If you hear a voice inside you saying you cannot paint, the by all means, go ahead and paint and the voice of within shall be silenced”. All the more so when dealing with an issue that is contained but not limited in scope to the paramaters of the above comments.
Anti-semitism, bias, and indeed Quislingism, if it may be so termed. What about similar Isaeli predicaments? Don’t focus on the negative and criticise, though validity may indeed be ascertainable.
Simply put, oversimplification is neo-radicalism in the form of democratic ambiguity. Put not forth a variable as your barometer of truth and steadfastness.
I hope my point is clear.
to all of you that support ed kobus, please explain how st. lawerence owing tax dollars has anything to do with the Jews in Ramapo. it is his issue not a Jewish issue. I paid my taxes all 8K+ this year
if you have complaints against Yidden and feel compelled to voice it… so be it, but to attack Jews because CSL didn’t pay his taxes – utter nonsense! the letter writer used the CSL incident to voice his real agenda of castigating Jews and labeling Jews as tax cheats!
I live in Wesley Hills- and pay my sky high taxes- (just received a new bill yesterday)-
and am opposed to the overdeveloping of the neighborhood- there is barely a road that is passable now- 306 is a disaster, College Road. will be too when YSV eventually opens, and now driving down to Pomona risks being a nightmare-
this is the country, our sewers, roads and infrastructure are not made for all these multi-family units-
It’s time for our people to grow up and stop demanding everything-
most of us work for what we have-
I pay TONS of taxes…. TONS of taxes in Monsey, (no, I’m not a developer) yet I fully support Ch. St. Lawrence. He is a Jew lover and that is what counts. We are yet to find a guy like him. He will do ANY toivah for a frum Yid!
All of the above comments are from the same source….
Yes, it’s about time we have affordable housing! It’s about time a two bedroom apartment costs $1500 rent! (But this price is the same in many places – I hear)
Trust me, If CSL would “not” win this elections, the price of rent would NOT go down, we would still NOT have affordable housing and “OY VA VOY” what tzoros we would chas vesholom have!
Why put a swastika ??????????
I would venture to say that leide at least 50% (probably closer to 75-80%) of non Hasidic frum jews agree with the sentiments of this writer (Ed Kobus). I wish there were a way to make a objective poll of the above.
This story just reinforces the belief of many (if not all) that Mr. St. Lawrence is corrupt & in the pockets of those that seek to destroy the suburban nature of this town with utter disregard to the effect on all the rest of us. He is a blind automatic rubber stamp for any develpoment regardless of consequences.
The honest amongst us Jew or gentile are incensed at the fraud & corruption & shticklech that is being used to rip off the government & beat the system – we are left holding the bag. I am NOT a self hating jew anti-semite etc. etc. – It seems that anyone that is against fraud & corruption & illegal building etc. is automatically labeled a self hating jew etc. –
the issue is not CSL
the issue is taxes. 4000 new units would be taxfree and we(the nebachs who pay taxes) will pay the price.
I like CSL too, but I am not in favor of overbuilding in areas where we put our life savings into purchasing our homes.Our children are not getting the benefit of the overpopulation building. I respect skvere and vishnitz upstate who took barren land not encroaching upon anyone and bought it and will develop it.The problem is we who have sunk our life savings into buying a house the old honest way will keep on paying the taxes to support those who aren’t. That is not yashrus, nor is it right.The saddest thing is a lot of these developments are made to benefit the developers.
We all know what percent of the 306 development near amazing savings is going to family of select few and not to the open market.It is unfair for them to hide behind this smoke screen. Let us ask for full transparency and let the outsiders or anyone be privy to who gets an apartment.
its time the tzibbur gets ehrlich and is open with
#12. Well said.
I have no issue whatsoever with living with any Yidden – I do though have issues with corruption, dishonesty and selfishness.
I venture to say that the overwhelming concesus on this string is against St. Lawrence. It actually indicates a problem: We did not go out and vote during this past election, or at least express our opinions when we should have. Not that the “Save Ramapo” ticket was the answer, though maybe we should take more advantage of our democracy and put someone up against him.
Whatever the story is the point is, that prop. tax in Monsey – Suffern area are completely insane I just got my bill this past week it was just nuts. Honestly how can a frum family that has to pay tuition and support their kids possibly survive any where, especially Monsey ?!?
Everybody knows that Christopher St. Lawrence’s names is automatically linked (within the brain) to “crook” or “stereotypical politician who lets Jew do whatever they want, specifically cheat on taxes.” The fact that this piece of information elicited a response along the lines of “St. L should become a Jew” is not very surprising.
Dictionary.com defines antisemitism as “the intense dislike for and prejudice against Jewish people.” The letter shows no prejudice. The author sees a public official who is partial to finding ways for his constituents to avoid taxes getting busted for paying too little taxes. That’s it.
I have been following YeshivaWorld for over a year and I am finally moved to comment for the first time.
This comment section ‘reeks of hate against Jews’ no less than the Journal article.
I would ask you to consider whether a public forum such as YW is the appropriate place for this type of response. Please remember that we are currently in Golus and our words to the public should be carefully measured.
Whats so surprising about this letter-to-the-editor?
The Journal News is the MOST anti-semetic rag in the nation. Did anyone ever see the hate spewed on their online comment section? If it is deemed insufficiently anti-semetic, it is rejected!
can’t people see that 4 things are happening here:
2 issues in the letter and 2 more issues here in YW
1) CSL did not pay his taxes (letter)
2) people do not like the overdevelopment (here in YW)
3) people do not like the high taxes (here in YW)
4) the letter writer essentially insinuates that every Jews “…declare himself a rabbi. Then he can make the house a yeshiva. Then he can demand tax-free status for the property” (letter)
CSL and his tax issue (point 1) has NOTHING to do with point 2. does tangently relate to point 3. and has nothing whatsoever to do with point 4 (the comparison of points 1 and 4 was the meat of the letter).
The whole reason for point 4 was to cast Jews in a negative light(something, that sadly, some people here seem to enjoy).
Let ed kobus make his point about CSL without pointing his finger at the Jewish people. there are very valid points that can be made against an elected official that is negligent in his responsibilities either in his/her public or private life. Many politicians have fallen due to personal life missteps. We have seen this in Rockland. I am sure that preserve ramapo will bring this to the next election.
so, go ahead, blast away all you want at CSL regarding taxes
rant all you want about development or “over”development.
yell all you want against Shuls, Yeshivas and housing, traffic, water…
DON’T CALL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS TAXCHEATS BECASUSE CHRISTOPHER ST. LAWERENCE DID NOT PAY HIS TAXES!!!
Maybe CSL is having some financial difficulties like many of us. His salary is no great shakes, and he has a wife and children like the rest of us. He didint steal anything, he will pay just like the rest of us. He’s not getting away with anything.
If Ed wishes that the News Journal print his opinion, then I can do nothing to stop him.
But why does Yeshiva World have to give his letter a greater audience?
This is probably one of the few threads where everyone is on the same page.
Dr Levine, I beg to differ with your interpertation of Ed’s letter. He is not Anti Jewish, he lives in Pomona and is anti Tartikov. He is against a developer waltzing into his backyard, claiming tax exempt status, and putting up 3,000 units in property that is legally zoned for 1 acre single family houses. Most Frumj people living in the area are also against it.
I think the writer gave us a great idea. All frum yiden should go and attend a basic smicha program (I’m sure local rabbonim can organize a fast-track one) and organize themselves into learning chaburos and take turns learning in each other’s houses, thus enabling everybody to call their house a “place of worship” or “yeshiva”. Or maybe we should make Monsey into one giant yeshiva and have every house as a classroom. I’m sure between men, women and kids we can manage it.
to # 17 You are right that we are in Golus. All the more reason to behave appropriately and be good neighbors without a sense of entitlement and superiority. Just last week there was an article about summer homes being tax free with the attendant rationalizations. How do you think our tax paying neighbors feel about that? By the way, even in Eretz Yisroel such behavior antagonizes other frum tax paying Jews.If you want to receive from society you have to put something in as well.
#23 ephraim – if what you say is true, then he should write a letter to the journal news or any blog that he wants to and voice his opinion about Tartikov.
the letter that he wrote was about CSL and not paying his taxes — do you have trouble understanding this? in this letter, he refers to Rabbis as tax cheats. explain to me, ephraim or anyone else for that matter, what does CSL and his not paying of his tax bill have to do with Yidden??? the answer is clear, let me help you —> NOTHING!!!
i dont expouse that not paying taxes make you a crook.getting around not paying taxes is not illegal. the system allows it and its legal .its the requirement of the community to regulate its laws and tax requirements.if there are people who know how to play games to avoid taxes shore it up;otherwise its legal.
I resent the people who write back without understanding the pain and being in the parsha.
If you don’t pay 20k taxes for a regular house here you don’t know what it feels like
the issue mostly is not csl or ed k. the issue is the impossible taxes and the increases the tax exempt houses will create.
I have no problem that all yeshivas and shuls and rebbis and rabbonim
should be tax exempt they have little other benefits, but dont throw these 4000 tax exempt
apartments as antisemitism. Someone has to pay school taxes and town and county cost.Please be rational and understand 4000 apartments and bli ayin hora that adds up to a minimum of 10,000+ more people. every bit of services will need upgrading-from roads to parking, utilities to all kinds of medical and social services and infrastructure.This is not about anything else than practical- who will pay the cost.The structure of all govt is that tax revenue covers the costs of these needs.
let’s not loose sight of the communal responsibly of growth and development.
Mdlevine: You have officially crossed the line between truth and falsehood.
“4) the letter writer essentially insinuates that every Jews “…declare himself a rabbi. Then he can make the house a yeshiva. Then he can demand tax-free status for the property” (letter)”
Not at all. The author states CLEARLY that it is surprising that St. Lawrence has been caught not paying his taxes. After all, St. L. is very familiar with methods of exemption. Nowhere does he even hint that all Jews are examples of the corruption which he details. He merely explains how it can be done.
As for the “DON’T CALL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS TAXCHEATS BECASUSE CHRISTOPHER ST. LAWERENCE DID NOT PAY HIS TAXES!!!”, it is a very common thing to compare similar people or people with similar traits. You make it sound like a cause and effect:
CAUSE: St. L. didn’t pay taxes.
EFFECT: Jews are taxcheats.
Your implications are ridiculous and utterly false.
mdlevine is on the ball (as usual).
It is fortunate that the kluga yidden don’t spend much time online (but rather on truly productive activities), as clearly evidenced by the volume of stupidity in this comment section compared to the sparseness of chuchma.
Not enough that the Journal News prints EVERY article against the Frum Jews, YW has to help by posting all those comments here. This sounds like an outright issur!
DELETED BY MODERATOR.
Deleted By Moderator.
Deleted By Moderator.
i loved #24. yes = let’s all get in on this & then maybe there will some necessary long overdue fair changes that will avoid the rampant scamming.
Mdlevine:”DON’T CALL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS TAXCHEATS BECASUSE CHRISTOPHER ST. LAWERENCE DID NOT PAY HIS TAXES!!!”,
1.Not ALL my brothers & sisters just SOME.
2. It’s simple if you want to to do shtick & not pay taxes – elect an experienced tax evader and he will surely help you with what you want.
How about the comment by #30 who is obviously the
smartest fellow in all of Rockland County (him & MLevive unless they are one & the same)
“It is fortunate that the kluga yidden don’t spend much time online (but rather on truly productive activities), as clearly evidenced by the volume of stupidity in this comment section compared to the sparseness of chuchma”
I am so happy that he has set us all straight with his infinite wisdom – Thank you.
We need hadracha from the “kluga” metchen like you obviously are (Your comment is just saturated with intelectual “chuchma” as is obvious to all us inferior morons)
Thank you again. Your arguments are indeed extremely compelling.
I see you deleted my comment. OK. I will leave this site and not return.
Thank You YW Editor for deleting 32 (which of course made the responses contained in 33 and 34 no longer necessary)!
Such hate does not belong here.
(Please disregard the previous post – it contained the incorrect comment numbers.)
25 years – We’re really going to miss you. Can we make a goodbye party?
Just got your email on this, or I would have been an early responder. But I feel I have to add one more voice to what has been said. This is not anti-semitism. It is anti-unfair practices, anti-destroying the nature of Monsey and it environs by overbuilding, anti-politicians who only care for their own benefit, anti-gezel, anti-overcrowding our roads and facilities. The list goes on, but I think you get the picture. A frum yid is reponsible to consider the ramifications of his actions on others. Only looking at his and his group’s benefits is far removed from frumkeit. Moshe Rabbeinu did not want to take the bnei yisroel out of mitzrayim because he was afraid this would hurt just one person, his brother Aharon.
“in this letter, he refers to Rabbis as tax cheats”
No. In the letter he writes that a certain method (part of which includes being a rabbi) is an effective method to get out of paying taxes. NOWHERE does he imply that all rabbis are tax cheats – all he implies is that some are.
mdlevine hit the nail on the head in this thread, as he usually does.
The fact is we reap what we sow and we are responsible for one another. Those Jews who cheat on their taxes, be it by not declarng income, fasifying donations or fraudulently removing their houses from the tax roles, are foolish if they believe the rest of the world is not on to them. Moreover, they give the rest of the Jews a “bad name.” This letter in the Journal News is but one small manifestation of that. Indeed the letter has a logical fallicy in that it conflates CSL’s tax issue with Jewish issues, and the two are not related. But that logical leap is easily explained. The author wished to express his resentment for both CSL and for those Jews who pull schtick as regards taxes. He did so; albeit inartfully.