Freeport claims it’s not getting fair share of sales tax revenue

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FREEPORT -

The Village of Freeport is set to sue Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead, claiming it’s not getting its fair share of sales tax revenue.

Last year, then-Nassau County executive candidate Laura Curran said to village mayors that she believed sales tax revenue should be shared by the county with the various villages in Nassau.

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy says Curran has reneged on that promise. The village has now filed a notice of claim against Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead.

“Last year, we didn't receive anything. Zero. This year, we received $119,000,” says Kennedy.

The mayor says that amounts to pennies on the dollar, considering that Freeport generates nearly $16 million in sales tax revenue per year.

State law mandates that Nassau disperse a percentage of sales tax revenue to its five towns and cities, and allows it to do the same for villages in order to offset the cost of various services – such as waste removal.

Freeport now says it intends to sue Nassau and the Town of Hempstead, citing damages of more than $2.5 million. It argues that the town received millions more in sales tax revenue than it was owed from the county by listing Freeport Village residents as its own, even though the Village of Freeport provides the bulk of services to its taxpayers.

“The county says I don't have money. The town says I don't have money. The fact of the matter is they're collecting $3 million off just Freeport Village’s monies alone, and not returning the services,” says Kennedy.

The mayor acknowledges that the state law does not mandate the county to provide a specific amount of sales tax revenue to the villages, but he argues there should at least be a good faith negotiation.

A spokesperson for the Town of Hempstead tells News 12 that the town is fully compliant with the law. A spokesperson says the county is unable to comment, due to the ongoing litigation.

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