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One of two certainties comes due


Taxes are the talk of the nation these days, with Congress passing legislation that President Trump and Republican members of congress are calling a “tax reform” bill that runs to about 1,100 pages. At least one senator admitted he hasn’t read the bill, but will vote for it anyway.

Commend him for his honesty.

As for the president, he’s touted the bill in his all-capitals way as the “Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history,” and during a rally in the Midwest said, “This is going to cost me a fortune this thing, believe me, believe me. This is not good for me, me it’s not so good for.”

We admire Mr. Trump for the sacrifice he’s making, and turn our eyes — must we? alas  — to Shelter Island’s tax situation.

According to Receiver of Taxes Ann­marie Seddio, Shelter Island’s tax warrant for 2017-18, or debt owed by taxpayers, is $21,018,131 on 3,281 taxable parcels. That comes out to an average tax bill of about $6,406. Last year’s warrant was $20,546,757 on 3,275 parcels, or an average tax bill of $6,088.

According to the tax receiver’s records, the highest combined tax bill (see below) goes to Keyspan, which will have to pony up $125,821. The steepest private tax bill will be sent to William M. Birch of Ram Island, who owes a combined tax amount of $78,407.

Coming in third this year after topping the charts last year, is Pandion Acquisitions, a limited liability company registered in Manhattan.

Pandion, controlled by Richard Hogan, purchased close to 25 acres of the St. Gabriel’s property in April 2015 and is now developing it into a luxury residential community. Pandion paid $15.1 million to the Passionists Fathers, a Catholic religious order, which had owned the mainly undeveloped property that fronts on Coecles Harbor for more than a century, and paid no taxes.

Ms. Seddio reported that 92 parcels have been billed at $50 or less, a rise of 31 over last year. Some of these properties are underwater lots or small, private roads or rights-of-way.

As always, the tax receiver said, the first half of the tax bill is due January 10, and the second half is due May 31.

Ms. Seddio said her office has fielded “many calls from taxpayers who wish to pay their taxes in full before December 31, 2017 due to the impending tax ‘reform/overhaul.’”

Top Twelve Taxpayers

Property Owner    Assessed Value    Tax Amount

Keyspan Corp    $21,107,163    $125,821.46

Birch William M    $13,152,100    $78,407.56

Pandion Acquisitions LLC    $12,183,000    $72,630.17

Gardiners Bay County Club, Inc.    $11,847,040    $70,455.61

American Direct LLC    $10,682,350    $63,683.89

Crocker M. Elaine    $10,181,000    $60,695.03

10 Lari Lane LLC    $9,980,000    $59,496.77

Prasad Anil    $8,859,000    $52,813.82

Harris Seth    $8,465,700    $50,469.10

Richardson Nancy    $8,448,500    $50,366.59

McConnell Michael W    $8,432,000    $50,268.21

Beach House LLC    $8,310,000    $49,540.89