Nassau lawmakers pass budget without fee hikes

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MINEOLA -

Nassau lawmakers approved a budget Monday that leaves out controversial hikes to county fees supported by outgoing County Executive Ed Mangano.

Mangano proposed the $60 million in fee hikes to help plug a budgetary gap next year.

"Balancing the budget means doing it honestly, not illegally on the backs of taxpayers," said Brandon Muir, of the taxpayer advocacy group Reclaim NY.

The hikes would have increased traffic ticket surcharges and real estate transaction fees.

Instead, lawmakers voted to find savings by cutting police overtime, filling open jobs with workers at lower salaries or reducing personnel, issuing paperless checks and cutting spending on fuel and maintenance.

While both parties agreed to avoid the fees, Democratic Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams says he worries Republicans will try to reintroduce them after Election Day.

"My staff and colleagues worked very hard in coming up with a budget that is achievable," said Legislator Norma Gonsalves, the Republican presiding officer.

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