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Letter: Don’t Blame Albany for Financial Woes

I write in response to Presiding Officer Diane Yatauro’s letter published in the July 3 edition of The Massapequan Observer blaming Albany for Nassau County’s financial woes. Ms. Yatauro blatantly misstated the county’s deficit as $130 million due to a lack in sales tax revenue. That is not accurate. The actual projected sales tax decrease is a maximum of $80 million. So, where does the $130 million figure come from?

The county executive and the Democrat Majority on the County Legislature have steered this county into a financial mess that they’ve conveniently blamed on the recession, and now blame on Albany. To fill the budget gap of $80 million plus the additional mysterious $50 million, the county executive has proposed (and the Democrat majority has rubber-stamped) adding new taxes (on top of the 3.9 percent property tax increase and the 2.5 percent home energy tax), fees and fines on the backs of Nassau residents. Ms. Yatauro is playing a game of smoke and mirrors by trying to blame Albany for the county executive’s fiscal failures.

Each of the proposed new taxes, fees and fines – to name a few: $2 cigarette tax, $50 traffic ticket surcharge, red light camera tickets – were languishing in Albany while the Democrats controlled the Senate and long before the Senate stalemate. Each measure could have, and would have passed if it had merit.

Stop crying crocodile tears and blaming others for the fiscal mismanagement of Nassau County. The real message here is that Nassau must find ways to cut spending in lieu of taxing our residents out of their homes.

Peter J. Schmitt

Minority Leader, District 12

Nassau County Legislature