Suozzi tax refund plan comes under fire from all sides

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi?s plan to pay back homeowners who?ve successfully challenged their tax bills is drawing sharp criticism from Republicans and others. Suozzi?s plan calls for borrowing

News 12 Staff

Nov 29, 2007, 1:13 AM

Updated 6,079 days ago

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Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi?s plan to pay back homeowners who?ve successfully challenged their tax bills is drawing sharp criticism from Republicans and others.
Suozzi?s plan calls for borrowing $50 million over the next two years to pay the homeowners. He said he had no choice but to borrow the money in light of declining sales tax revenues.
Republican Leg. Peter Schmitt said borrowing to pay for tax refunds is a bad idea, and he is not the only one with that view. Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) calls the plan a Band-Aid for the problem.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority is urging Suozzi to abandon the plan. Chairman Ronald Stack said borrowing was what caused the county?s original fiscal crisis. He said the county should not go down that road again.
However, Suozzi is pushing forward with the plan. ?This is a responsible thing to do and it's the only way to maintain fiscal stability,? he said.
The Legislature's independent budget review office said the administration should have followed through on its original proposal for small tax hikes. If it did, the office said, the county would not need to borrow.
The estimated $50 million in borrowing will not require a vote from lawmakers. The Legislature already approved the money as part of an earlier budget plan.


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