Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 12 August 2011 00:00
Money. It isn’t everything, but it sure seems like it is.
This year, Anton Community Newspapers has asked our readers for input about what they would like to learn from candidates as we head into Election Day. The primary responses from readers all had to do with money - development, jobs and taxes.
In this economy, candidates all talk about fighting taxes and promoting good financial policy. This paper wants to help this year in pointing out some specific issues and getting some direct (hopefully) answers from candidates on where they stand.
“Conservative” and “liberal,” “Republican” and “Democrat,” don’t necessarily mean what they mean at higher levels of government. Nassau County legislators, Glen Cove city officials and Oyster Bay council people don’t make decisions to the left or right on national security, gay marriage, gun rights or abortion. They do make decisions that affect your taxes and your services. Some “conservative” leaders are under fire locally for taking actions that critics think are not financially conservative. Critics suggest that certain decisions at the county level might be risky, might not be the best use of your money, or might cause you to lose money.
Regarding school taxes, County Executive Edward P. Mangano, along with the majority caucus in the Legislature, which puts through all his proposed ideas, have moved to take away the “county guarantee.” Currently, 41 school districts, including the Roslyn, Jericho, Oyster Bay and North Shore school districts in our readership, are suing the county to stop this.
What it means is, because Nassau has not been successfully assessing commercial and home property value, it can no longer afford to pay for the mistakes. If this goes through, it means that if someone in Roslyn, for instance, is owed a refund after they challenge their assessment, even though the county did the assessment, the Roslyn School District has to pay to refund whatever was overpaid to Roslyn schools. But, the problem is, that money was already levied, collected and spent. Just because someone in Roslyn overpaid for their house or business does not mean that the school got “extra” money. It collected the taxes for its budget, for which the community voted YES. This new expense, money to repay past years’ taxes, will now be an extra cost in the school budget – one that the school cannot control as it does not perform assessments. Because of the tax cap, the costs will have to come from some other place in the school budget, or the community will be forced to seek the vote needed to ignore the tax cap and raise taxes.
This is another case that could help readers understand who their candidates are. In the 18th Legislative District, which represents Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Bayville, Locust Valley, Brookville, Glen Head, Greenvale and Jericho, candidates Robert Germino and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton speak to this issue on Page 3.