SMITHTOWN - Suffolk lawmakers today overrode County Executive Steve Levy's (R-Suffolk) veto of the Legislature's 2012 budget, saving hundreds of jobs, but it comes at a price for taxpayers.
The budget calls for 88 layoffs instead of the more than 700 proposed by Levy, but it also increases the police tax by $12 million.
"A $12 million tax increase equates to $27 a year, or less than a 7-Eleven cup of coffee a month," says Legislator John Kennedy (R-Nesconset).
The Legislature first passed the budget and the new tax hike the day after Election Day, but today some lawmakers questioned if the 88 jobs on the chopping block could've been saved by tapping into the county's general reserve fund.
"This recession isn't going to go away, and we're going to need the reserve money next year to keep the county going," says Presiding Officer William Lindsay.
The new Suffolk budget only covers the first six months of 2012, so newly elected County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Suffolk) will have to come up with a new spending plan before July.