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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on the Nassau Legislature in 2010, my Republican colleagues and I have fought every mention of a property tax increase, repealed the home energy tax, and eliminated the proposed tax increases for 2010 through 2013.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

Philip D’Aguanno, 79, of Melville, passed away on Oct. 15. Loving husband of Maria. Devoted Father, father-in-law and grandfather. A funeral mass was held at S.t Kilian R.C. Church. Interment Holy Rood Cemetery. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home, Inc.


The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Farmingdale-based advocacy group, recently joined state lawmakers and Massapequa water district officials for a press conference calling on New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the proposed Navy Grumman Plume Remediation Act (A9492), which has already passed both the state Assembly and Senate, in an effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water and the Great South Bay from the Grumman-U.S. Navy underground plume of toxic chemicals. 


Sports

Nassau County ASA President Keith O’Donnell and Chief Umpire Vincent Donnelly recently presented a $2400 check to Over the Hill Gang President Jim Reilly. The donation will be added to the funds the men’s softball league raised on behalf of Sal Pugliese Jr. as the young boy battles a rare hip disorder. The OTHG would like to thank the ASA for its generous contribution to a fantastic local cause.

—Submitted by the Over the Hill Gang


Farmingdale runners Theresa Gannon, Chris Bartlett, Patty Baker and Jenine Cottone each came home with an award from the Blue Ribbon 10 kilometer and 5 kilometer runs for Prostate Cancer at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park. 


Calendar

Thanksgiving Eve - November 26

Altheas Boutique Opening - November 29

Tri-Centennial Tree Lighting - December 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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