Nassau to move forward with property tax hike

Nassau residents will have to pay more county property taxes. Republican lawmakers have decided not to attempt to override County Executive Ed Mangano's 3.4 percent property tax hike. The increase

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2014, 3:13 AM

Updated 3,479 days ago

Share:

Nassau to move forward with property tax hike
Nassau residents will have to pay more county property taxes.
Republican lawmakers have decided not to attempt to override County Executive Ed Mangano's 3.4 percent property tax hike.
The increase amounts to $41 a year for the average homeowner. Up until Monday night, Democrats and Republicans in Nassau had been working together to find ways to avoid that increase. But NIFA, the fiscal watchdog agency, had threatened to impose drastic spending cuts if the tax hike didn't go through. As a result, Republican Majority Leader Norma Gonsalves decided to drop her opposition to Mangano's plan.
"If I could really have succeeded in an override, I would have done it. But I'm not going to play Russian roulette with people's lives and that's exactly what we were doing," said Gonsalves.
Gonsalves says she made her decision after hearing directly from NIFA Chairman Jon Kaiman. He said the county's fiscal board was prepared to reject the alternatives proposed by the Democrats and Republicans simply because it was bad budgeting.
"NIFA's position is that if they blew a $30 million hole in the budget, then we'd have to take some pretty drastic action," said Kaiman. "We would have to cut across the board all non-essential services for 2015."
Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams says the Republicans caved too quickly. He still believes all sides could have worked out a way to avoid a tax increase.
"To use NIFA as a crutch sounds like bad politics, bad government and isn't focused on the people and it's not focused on the taxpayers," said Abrahams.
Mangano's office says most homeowners will be eligible for a state rebate to help offset the tax increase. It's available to those earning less than $500,000. Those who make more and businesses aren't eligible.


More from News 12