On Feb. 23, the Nassau County Legislature approved an ordinance that imposes a 2.5 percent sales tax on residential energy sources and services. The legislature approved the ordinance, which is designed to bring in $18 million to the county budget for 2009, by a 10-9 margin. The Democratic majority of the Nassau Legislature voted in favor of the tax while the nine Republican legislators opposed it.
Among the Republican Legislators voting against the tax was Legislator John Ciotti. According to Ciotti, the 2.5 percent home energy tax will apply to all residential heating and energy sources including LIPA usage, natural gas, oil, steam services, propane, coal and firewood.
Ciotti was critical of the tax as a revenue enhancement and the county executive's proposal to cut youth services as a way to close a projected budget deficit.
"Those who voted 'yes' to this tax are acting in an irresponsible, uncaring and unfeeling manner. They are adding a tax on to people who cannot afford to pay it. People are losing their jobs and their houses are not worth what they were just two years ago. This is not the time to add any new taxes," said Ciotti.
According to Ciotti, the tax will take effect no later than June 1.