Suffolk lawmakers approve mortgage, park fee hikes
The Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday voted to approve controversial hikes for mortgage and park fees.
In a 10-7 vote, Suffolk lawmakers approved a fee hike that will increase the cost of mortgage recordings from $200 to $500. The fee applies to new mortgages, second mortgages, refinancing and credit line inquiries, among other actions.
Legislator Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), who is against the hike, said that such fees are driving young people off Long Island.
"There is no way we should be doing this," he said.
Legislator Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue) argued that while no one wants to raise fees, there would be a $33 million hole in the county's budget without them.
The increase was first proposed earlier this year by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Legislator Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said the funds will help pay for crucial county services.
Lawmakers on Tuesday also voted to raise some county park fees by 11 percent. County officials said the increases are just a few dollars in most cases.
The measures still require Bellone's signature. If approved, they would go into effect Jan. 1.