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Letter: Yatauro Criticizes Mangano Budget

When he was elected last year, Nassau County Executive Mangano promised no tax increases. The Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt pledged no tax increases and no fee increases. It took each of them less than 10 months to renege on their commitments.

In the 2011 county budget, which I and my Democratic colleagues opposed, the Republican leadership enacted many tax and fee increases which include Parks and Recreation fee hikes totaling $2.3 million. Sewer and Storm Water charges will add an additional $20 million tax burden. New Traffic and Parking Violation fees will total $7 million. New Ambulance fees will total $8 million. New administrative fees at the County Clerk office will total $8 million.

The decision to end the county’s 60-year practice of paying for tax refunds due when property owners successfully challenge their property assessments will simply shift that responsibility to municipalities and school districts. This shifting of the “county guarantee” will force those jurisdictions to raise your taxes at the local level. Even though Glen Cove has had this responsibility for years, almost all communities throughout Nassau County will be struggling to find revenue to pay for these refunds.

Mr. Mangano had pledged to fix the errors which plague the assessments rolls. Instead of correcting the mistakes, he simply passed the problem onto local school districts and other jurisdictions.

All told the new fee increases amount to more than $60 million or a 7.4 percent property tax increase.

I, your legislator, and the Nassau County Legislature’s Democratic Minority, voted NO on the Republican budget. Shame on Mr. Mangano and Mr. Schmitt for breaking their promises and making county taxpayers foot the bill.

Diane Yatauro (Legislator, 18th LD)
Nassau County Legislature
Minority Leader