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Former Ossining Man Founds Anti-Tax Group

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow resident John Davis is on a mission to help keep taxes low.

Davis, a Republican, recently started the Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown taxpayers Facebook group to engage local citizens on the issue of high taxes. He's gotten 31 people to join his cause in three days.

Davis says concerns about high taxes are pretty common.

“Everyone I talk to is talking about taxes,” he said.

Davis first began advocating for lower taxes while living in Ossining in 2009. He says he started an Ossining Taxpayers group on Facebook because he noticed his property taxes increased significantly.

“My neighbors' taxes went up significantly or worse than mine,” he said, noting the increases were 30-50 percent higher.

Davis had heard about a New Jersey student who had gotten more than 1,000 people to join a group protesting his school's lunch menu. Davis says he thought if this kid in Jersey can get more than 1,000 people why couldn't he do the same?

The Ossining group helped vote down a proposed $69 million bond for the school district, Davis said, noting that more than 3,500 people turned out to vote.

“We got the body politic to wake up and listen to the voice of the people,” he said.

Davis says he personally likes the idea of the property tax cap signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo because it moves things in the right direction. Davis acknowledges the cap isn't going to fix things overnight and Albany needs to fix the mandate problem, but says the tax cap is “going to force municipalities and educational systems to get their budgets right and live within their means.”

Davis says his Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown taxpayers group is a way for the community to come together to voice their concerns and ideas. He also thinks of it as a taxpayers' watchdog group.

His current goal is to increase membership, but later he said he'll try to do some of the same things he did with his Ossining group, such as going to village and school meetings and “watch them like a hawk.”

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