Mangano releases final budget proposal as Nassau exec

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MINEOLA -

Ed Mangano's final budget proposal as Nassau County executive includes $60 million in fee hikes for things like real estate transactions and traffic tickets.

It also increases taxes by 0.8 percent, months after Mangano touted his record of increasing property taxes only once during seven prior years in office.

"We've been mindful of your wallets the entire time," he told county residents during his final State of the County address in April.

The Mangano administration says it's a balanced budget that avoids significant service cuts. But legislators in both parties may be reluctant to approve new fees in an election year.

"It's heavy on fees, like every budget they've put forth in the past, and it does very little to combat corruption in the county," says Legislator Kevan Abrahams, the County Legislature's Democratic leader.

Mangano, a Republican, was not available for an interview Friday.

Last month, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority commissioned a report that suggested cutting or modifying a slew of services, including the use of crossing guards and ambulances, in order to cut into the county's $54 million deficit.  NIFA says it could mandate the cuts if Mangano and the County Legislature fail to act. 

The Legislature's presiding officer, Norma Gonsalves, released a statement Friday in which she touted the Republican majority's budget record, which does include largely holding the line on property taxes. Gonsalves says the Legislature will "advance taxpayer protective principles" as it analyzes the county executive's proposal.

Mangano is facing federal corruption charges and is not seeking re-election.

Laura Curran, the Democrat vying to replace him, blasted his proposed budget for its fee hikes.

"The Mangano administration's fiscal mismanagement has turned fees into just another tax hike, gouging residents and potential businesses and visitors," she said in a statement.

Jack Martins, the Republican nominee for county executive, also criticized the budget.

"Nassau residents are paying the price for mismanagement and a lack of control about how we make our own decisions about the county's financial future," he said. 

NIFA has not commented on the budget proposal.

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