NIFA might intervene in budget battle

The board that oversees Nassau County's finances is threatening to step in if county lawmakers cannot come up with a better plan to fill a huge budget deficit.

Nassau Interim Finance Authority chairman Jon Kaiman says his board is still not convinced that Nassau's lawmakers will property address a budget gap that, by some estimates, reaches $130 million.

County legislators have now offered up amendments to County Executive Ed Mangano's proposed 2016 budget. That proposal calls for a 1.2 percent property tax increase, but legislators say they will not support a tax hike of any kind.

Earlier this month, Republicans and Democrats challenged one another to come up with a plan that would replace the proposed tax increase with revenue from other sources.

"We have submitted amendments which provide recurring revenues, reasonable cuts in fees and eliminate the proposed property tax increase," Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves, an East Meadow Republican, said in a statement. "These amendments will allow for smooth government operations while saving taxpayers money."

Democrats are calling for wholesale changes to the way the county issues contracts, saying the current system "breeds corruption."

Kaiman says NIFA has already established two subcommittees that will allow the board to step in and modify the county's budget, if necessary.

In the meantime, a Mangano administration official tells News 12 that the county executive's office will comment on the amendments once the Nassau Legislature officially presents its version of the budget.

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