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  1. #1
    Forum Member bum291's Avatar
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    Default What is 'taxpayer'

    I'm a little confused about what the 'taxpayers' means, i think i have the other building types in order, but wouldn't mind the list. Thanks.
    Last edited by bum291; 09-11-2008 at 05:21 AM. Reason: A little gramatical error.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Slaytallica45's Avatar
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    edit: corrected by mattyj
    Last edited by Slaytallica45; 09-11-2008 at 02:18 PM.
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

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    I dont know about Belle Meade New Jersey, but the term "taxpayer" in NYC....which is where I know it is used extensivly.....refers to a one or two story building,commercial on the first floor, cheaply built by the owner of the land, so he could rent it, to pay the taxes on the land, while he waits to decide what to do with the land....hence the term "Taxpayer"....most were built well over 50,60,70 years ago.They are found throughout NYC, but Queens and the Bronx are loaded with them.

    The picture on the previous post is not what would be described as typical NYC Taxpayer.

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    Forum Member Slaytallica45's Avatar
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    maybe i'm wrong then, thats the way taxpayer was described to me. thanks for the correction
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

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    I agree with MattyJ and know that the term originated in New York as he described. I know that it has been used to describe strip mall type buildings in the midwest because they end up paying higher property taxes than similar sized structures that are residential or industrial.

    Hence the term "tax payer" as described by the city as opposed to "tax payer" described by the land-owner.

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    New England also uses the term "taxpayer" for the same type of building described by MattyJ. A taxpayer can have different types of occupancies in them, for example, here is one from my community... from left to right.. a restaurant, real estate office, pizza/sub shop, a florist and a sign shop.
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    Just so its understood......the term "taxpayer" is now used (at least in NYC) to describe any one or two story commercial building (supermarkets,row of stores, etc...)

    But I think it is important to know why the FDNY included this specific type of building into its books. The buildings that the term initially was used for had common features, and were important enough that they were planned for specifically in our books.

    The original "taxpayers" (which we still have hundreds, if not thousands of in NYC) were ordinary construction, brick bearing walls with wood or steel beams. Since they were being built simply as a way for the land owner to make some money off his lot, they were not always the best built buildings. They were often diced up into individual stores, but had a common cockloft, up to a block long. The basements were often one big open basement, but may have been partitioned. The parapet wall was often a collapse problem in these buildings because of the way they were built. Usually there was only a small rear door, but was often barricaded or bricked over for security reasons.

    While the term seems to have become used by some to describe any type of commercial occupancy, understand there was a very specific type of building construction that it was meant to describe...at least in NYC.

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    Cool Taxpayer definition

    Being an "Old Guy" and having matured in the service, My definition and that of Wikipedia is a 2 or 3 story building with a store or business on the first floor and a residence on the second and / or third. Perhaps one of them a rental. Brick or masonry construction with or without a parapet between adjoining tax-payer units. Front and rear wall is usually a curtain wall with the sides being bearing walls. Width of 25 to 40 feet and spanned by ordinary construction using wood joists or heavy truss construction to support the floor and roof loads. 2 X 12 or heavier floor joist that may be single, double or triple depending upon the intended use of the floor. The use of wood joists from the 1890's to the 1920's when spans of 40 ft. were possible due to the availability of old growth timber in pine or hemlock.
    Some of the units had common basements or cocklofts up to a block long. Originally were constructed with the joists cemented into the brick work, and when floors failed, it pulled the side walls in on top of the firefighters. Fire cuts were invented to allow the floors to collapse without pulling the walls into the center. Most have a brick cornice that usually fails catastrophically from heavy fire in the cockloft. Many commuting channels of fire extension vertically through the structure, and by this time multiple ceilings and built-up roofs the make life extermely difficult for interior crews to control fire spread. Safety officers, pump operators and aerial operations are critical in monitoring cracks, bulges and movement of structural elements to prevent collapse upon interior firefighters. We still have a 3 story tax payer with a cast iron front that will fail by coming out into the street in one piece if it should ever be involved in fire. No apparatus directly in front of the address!!!

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    Read the Sept. issue of Firehouse...there is a whole article about "taxpayers."
    MCFD Station 1- "The Second-Due Saviors."
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    In my area, a taxpayer is a 2-3 story building that has a commercial occupancy on the 1st floor and residential on the floors above. A strip mall is not a tax payer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbduNur View Post
    In my area, a taxpayer is a 2-3 story building that has a commercial occupancy on the 1st floor and residential on the floors above. A strip mall is not a tax payer.
    That's how it was described to me as well.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    I am a tax payer and have been since 1956!

    I wish I could have not paid all the taxes I have paid, I'd be a rich sumbitch now instead of being a poor one!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbduNur View Post
    In my area, a taxpayer is a 2-3 story building that has a commercial occupancy on the 1st floor and residential on the floors above. A strip mall is not a tax payer.
    We call those "apartments over commercial".

    A strip mall is just a "modern version" of the taxpayer.. instead having basements with wood joists supporting the floor and holding up the roof, it's lightweight steel truss... just as dangerous!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    when I heard taxpayer, I think of at least a 2 story "residential over retail", may not be what others call it, but it seems to get the point across in my neck of the woods.

    The term almost exclusively refers to masonry load bearing walls with wooden floors, roof, and partitions. Although a few wood frame ones do exist around here.

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    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbduNur View Post
    In my area, a taxpayer is a 2-3 story building that has a commercial occupancy on the 1st floor and residential on the floors above. A strip mall is not a tax payer.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbduNur View Post
    In my area, a taxpayer is a 2-3 story building that has a commercial occupancy on the 1st floor and residential on the floors above. A strip mall is not a tax payer.
    If a strip mall is not a taxpayer...then what is it??

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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Aint clear text great!

    Of course, being near NYC, we know it by the definition that MattyJ mentioned.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  18. #18
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Aint clear text great!

    Of course, being near NYC, we know it by the definition that MattyJ mentioned.
    Im sure there are variations no matter where you go. My only point above was that someone was calling "our" definition wrong. How does that work? lol
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbduNur View Post
    In my area, a taxpayer is a 2-3 story building that has a commercial occupancy on the 1st floor and residential on the floors above. A strip mall is not a tax payer.
    Exactly how I have heard it

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    Im sure there are variations no matter where you go. My only point above was that someone was calling "our" definition wrong. How does that work? lol
    telling fdny they're wrong is like arguing over which side a steering wheel should be on. henry ford's the man, if says left it's left. sorry, but the name's origin is in nyc, and that settles it. thanks again fdny from new orleans

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