Nassau County's elected officials are trying to close an anticipated budget gap. One of the measures they are considering is not giving the villages sales tax revenue.
The Nassau County Legislature could be voting on the matter at its March 23 meeting. A hearing of the legislature on the matters was heard on Monday, March 9.
According to Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins, the Village of Mineola receives $53,000 of sales tax revenues from the county. Village officials attended to protest the loss of revenue to the villages.
"It's unconscionable that the county would try and address its own financial mismanagement on the backs of the villages that are actually being managed quite well. All they're doing is deferring a tax increase that they would have to impose on the county [residents] and putting it on the villages," said Mayor Martins.
Legislator Richard Nicolello, who represents the Village of Mineola and the 19-member Nassau County Legislature, said he is completely against eliminating the sales tax revenue to the villages.
Legislator Nicolello points out that villages are operating with budgets that were passed already. "You're just blowing a hole in the different villages' budgets for 2009," he said. "In this environment when all of our local governments are struggling, it just makes no sense to pass the pain on. It's just not good for the economy. It makes it difficult for them, especially the larger villages like Mineola, to achieve the saving they're going to have to achieve to balance their books."
Mayor Martins has argued in the past that villages should be getting even more sales tax revenue since, at least in Mineola's case, a lot of sales tax revenue is generated in the Village of Mineola because of its fairly large commercial tax base.