Environmentalists praise Assembly deal on open space

The New York State Assembly agreed Friday to approve Suffolk County's quarter-cent sales tax for open space preservation in September. The tax's renewal would allow Suffolk County to spend up to $800

News 12 Staff

Jul 28, 2007, 12:10 AM

Updated 6,197 days ago

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The New York State Assembly agreed Friday to approve Suffolk County's quarter-cent sales tax for open space preservation in September.
The tax's renewal would allow Suffolk County to spend up to $800 million through 2030 to preserve open space. The state Senate has already approved the extension.
"This will assure that the voters can vote in November, with the approval of the Suffolk County Legislature, on extending a program that has literally saved thousands of acres of land on top of our watershed since 1987," said Richard Amper of the Pine Barrens Society.
Although the open space sales tax will be approved by the Assembly, the separate 1-percent sales tax renewal bill for Suffolk is still on hold. The hold-up could cause $20 million in budget and personnel cuts, County Executive Steve Levy said. Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Brentwood) has helped block renewal of the sales tax due to Levy's stand on illegal immigration.
"The fact that they're holding it out [until] September puts us in a very difficult position because we're putting our budget for 2008 together now, July and August," Levy said.
To watch the complete interview with Pine Barrens Society's Richard Amper, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
Interview with Richard Amper on the open space tax victory.


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