Friday, 15 January 2010 00:00
(The following letter was sent to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and is printed at the request of the writer.)
OK, County Executive Mangano won on a “tax revolt vote” that he was going to reduce assessments - however, what he didn’t say during the campaign was that he couldn’t control the tax rate.
He needs to cut spending in order to prevent the tax rate from increasing as the assessments are cut. It’s simple arithmetic - if the “contractual obligations” are $10 million and the assessments go down 20 percent (as an example) the tax rate has to go up in order to cover the “contractual obligations.” These “obligations” really have to be re-negotiated for the benefit of the taxpayer, not for the continuing benefit of special interest groups in NYS. An important component would be converting all public “defined benefit” pension plans (with unknown costs) to “defined contribution” pension plans (with known costs).
Unfortunately, the county executive has very little control over the current continuing exploding school tax scenario on Long Island - intelligent consolidation of school districts (and services) on a county level (as recommended in the Suozzi Property Tax Commission Report) would help, but does the political will exist?
Sure, reducing the assessments may reduce costs associated with the certiorari protests in Nassau and thereby reduce the county tax portion of your bill, but it won’t reduce the school tax portion - the really big problem.
Anita MacDougall, Oyster Bay