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Letter: Schmitt: No Tax Hike on the Agenda

I read your recent article covering Nassau County Executive Edward I. Mangano’s State of the County address with great interest (“Mangano Warns of 13 Percent Tax Jump,” Anton Newspapers, March 22 and 23), but I fear your story missed the point – by a longshot.

The county executive did not threaten a 13 percent property tax increase; in fact, he never even uttered the words. Further, setting the legislative agenda is among my many duties as presiding officer, and I assure you, there will not be a tax increase on the agenda this year, just as there was no tax increase on the agenda in the past two years. Where did you even get your information?

The county executive’s speech painted a picture of the breadth of Nassau’s debt due to out-of-control spending and the broken property tax assessment system. The county executive made it clear that there will be no tax increases to deal with the inherited $310 million deficit, rather, there will continue to be severe spending cuts and even deep service cuts if his plan to end borrowing responsibly is not implemented.

It is laughable that, of all people, Kevan Abrahams (now Democratic minority leader of the legislature) is jumping on an anti-tax message after a career of tax increases, i.e. he voted for a 19.4 percent property tax increase for 2003, a 3.9 percent property tax increase for 2009, a 2.5 percent home energy tax, as well as proposed 3.9 percent property tax increases for 2010 through 2013, and even a fast food tax. His spend-and-tax mentality is what created Nassau’s budget problems in the first place.

Since gaining the county executive seat and the majority on the Nassau Legislature in 2010, my Republican colleagues and I have fought every mention of a property tax increase, repealed the home energy tax, and eliminated the proposed tax increases for 2010 through 2013. Further, we get it. We will not raise property taxes during a recession, and we have delivered on that promise. We have successfully presented no-tax-increase budgets for 2011 and 2012, and will continue to make the tough decisions necessary to cut, downsize and rightsize this budget without raising property taxes.

And, apparently, we will continue to do this without the support of the Democrat minority.

Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt
Nassau County Legislature

Note from Editor: Presiding Officer Schmitt, thank you for bringing a possible inaccuracy in my story to our attention.  While I stand by the 13 percent tax hike threat I reported, and which was widely covered by many other media outlets, perhaps I should have stuck with Mr. Mangano’s earlier threat, which he expressed in a February 2012 mailing to Nassau homeowners, warning that he might be “force[d]” to “…raise property taxes 25 percent on every homeowner in Nassau County, including you.”

— Melissa Argueta

News

Farmingdale village officials will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 1, to reexamine school speed zones throughout the village, in order to establish a consistent school speed zone limit. 

Holidays Increase Daily Congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


Calendar

Les Miserables - November 21

The Wedding Singer - November 21

Holiday Parade - November 22


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com