ALBANY -– Emergency 911 calls with advertisements? Students having to swipe a debit card each time they go to a different class? An extra fee taxpayers can pay to ensure more timely police response to calls for help?
So goes the possibilities in a new web site that seeks to poke a bit of fun at the property tax cap push at the Capitol.
“It uses a little humor to point out the devastating impact an ill-conceived tax cap plan would have on schools, local governments and vital public services,’’ said Carl Korn, a spokesman for the New York State United Teachers union.
NYSUT is sponsoring the new web site -– www.badcapcitynews.org –- along with New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness and the Omnibus Consortium, groups whose backers include unions and a number of groups that are fighting state budget cut plans.
The site, borrowing from the Onion, uses fake headlines and stories to push its point against the tax cap. It includes a phony 911 call, in which the “victim’’ of a car crash gets a series of automated responses one might expect to hear when calling your bank or an airline. “If your emergency requires an immediate response, press 1, followed by the pound sign,’’ the operator says. The caller -– before eventually getting cut off -– has to go through a series of steps, including providing the exact zip code for the accident. The 911 line is complete with a car wash advertisement.
The new web site comes as a group of business organizations today began a new effort to press the Assembly to get on board with the property tax control effort. The Senate has already approved a 2 percent cap on annual property tax growth.
-- Tom Precious