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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on the Nassau Legislature in 2010, my Republican colleagues and I have fought every mention of a property tax increase, repealed the home energy tax, and eliminated the proposed tax increases for 2010 through 2013.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 residents are being urged to use caution when answering the doorbell due to ongoing concerns of imposters posing as utility workers. On Aug. 19, officials with the South Farmingdale Water District—covering the Farmingdale, Bethpage, Seaford, North Massapequa and Massapequa Park communities—sent out an advisory warning customers not to let anyone into their homes claiming to be a water district employee without first showing photo identification. The advisory was sent as a safety precaution, instructing residents to immediately contact the police if they are suspicious of anyone identifying his or herself as a “water district” employee.

According to the South Farmingdale Water District Commissioners, it is rare for any water district employees to show up at a home or business unannounced in order to read a water meter or confirm a leak, as most, if not all, residential visits are done by appointment.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced that 258 campus police officers at 12 SUNY schools—including SUNY Farmingdale State College—are being armed with naloxone, an extremely effective heroin antidote that can instantly undo the effects of an opioid or heroin overdose.

The antidote, more commonly known as Narcan, will be provided as part of Schneiderman’s Community Overdose Prevention Program, which uses funds seized from drug dealers and other criminals to reimburse local police departments for the cost of naloxone kits.


Sports

It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.

“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 


Calendar

Board of Education Special Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Movies on the Green: The Nut Job

Thursday, Aug. 28

Warbirds Legends Weekend

Friday, Aug. 29



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