Suffolk faces potential tax hike to plug budget deficit

Suffolk residents are facing a possible tax hike as County Executive Steve Bellone tries to plug a massive budget hole. Bellone says he is not

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says he is

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says he is not ruling out new taxes, but won't pierce the state's new 2 percent property tax cap. (Credit: News 12 Long Island)

WOODBURY - Suffolk residents are facing a possible tax hike as County Executive Steve Bellone tries to plug a massive budget hole.

Bellone says he is not ruling out new taxes, but won't pierce the state's new 2 percent property tax cap.

While the deficit is down, new numbers show a budget gap that could still exceed $250 million. Officials say the Hurricane Sandy cleanup coupled with a loss in sales and property taxes have added tens of millions of dollars in expenses to the budget.

Bellone says he will streamline government, privatize more services and continue to push for the sale of the county-owned John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility.

Bellone says he's already eliminated about 700 positions through layoffs and attrition. He and county legislators say they want to avoid additional layoffs.

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