A week before Long Island's Dec. 11 special district elections, officials have unveiled the newest facet of a free, interactive online map, which includes details about all special taxing districts in Suffolk County.
The mapping of special districts, a collaboration between the Long Island Index and the Center for Urban Research at CUNY Graduate Center, was launched in June when information on Nassau County special districts was unveiled. Gathering information on Suffolk took longer because officials had to go to the assessors' offices in each of the county's 10 towns, index director Ann Golob has said.
According to the index, there are 665 government entities in Long Island, including 168 special districts for services such as fire, garbage, police, libraries and sewers. The map "allows a homeowner to see all the service providers adding to his or her tax bill," according to the website.
Available at longislandindexmaps.org, the map also includes specifics about various villages, hamlets and towns, and Long Island as a whole -- information such as land use, population, housing, affordability and school districts.
Suffolk County residents can type in their home address to see what special districts serve them and find contact and voting information for those districts.
Index officials said the map was meant to help taxpayers better understand what district they belong to and who they pay for services. Organizers also hope to spur an informed discussion about special districts by providing an easy-to-navigate visual aid that shows the patchwork of taxing districts on Long Island.