Nassau villages claim they're short-changed on sales tax revenuePosted: Updated:
Some Nassau County villages claim in a lawsuit that they are being short-changed when it comes to sales tax revenue.
Tracey Smith, of Freeport, says high taxes forced many of her neighbors to sell their homes and leave Long Island, calling her tax bill a burden.
Village of Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy says Nassau County is partially to blame.
"Freeport generates over $15 million a year in sales tax; we received nothing last year," he says.
Freeport and 26 other villages are now suing Nassau County and the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay.
In June, Kennedy said the villages were not receiving their fair share of sales tax revenue from the county. They also argued that the towns are benefiting by utilizing village population numbers to drive up their own shares of the revenue, without providing any in-kind services to the villages.
Kennedy says he'd still like to strike a deal with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, but he also notes that her stance on the issue has changed over the last year-plus.
"I think that you deserve your fair share of the sales tax," Curran said in October 2017, before she was elected.
But earlier this year while addressing a group of village mayors, she appeared to change course.
"If it were in my discretion, I would not be paying this out," Curran said in February 2018.
Kennedy says Freeport generally receives about $100,000 per year in sales tax revenue, which he says equates to mere pennies.
Curran's office and the towns of North Hempstead, Hempstead and Oyster Bay all declined to comment.
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