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Nassau license fee plan angers some

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano (March 19, 2012)

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano (March 19, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Some Nassau business owners reacted angrily Wednesday to a variety of new licensing fees proposed by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano in his $2.79 billion budget for 2013.

"I already pay the county $500, and the state and the village," said Alexander Finik, the owner for nearly 40 years of a dry cleaner on the western edge of Hempstead Village. "This is the kind of stuff that drives businesses out of the county."

Others took the proposal in stride.

Bill Powell, the owner of Seaford's Universe Appliance Repairs, another business category to be newly licensed, said: "Spread over the cost of 24 months, the licensing fee would not impact us very much."

Mangano says his budget, introduced Monday, would hold property taxes steady and increase spending by $44 million, compared with projected total spending for 2012.

New two-year licenses for small-business owners, including scrap metal processors and secondhand precious metal and gem dealers, would bring in $1.6 million in new revenue over two years, officials said.

Maggie Goldis, an owner of Goldis Jewelry in Hempstead, said she could understand why the county would want to license those who buy and sell secondhand precious metals and gems. "Some people may not even keep records," she said. However, she said she already pays a fee to Nassau police.

Finik said he pays the county health department $500 every two years and also pays fees to the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the village.

County Health Department spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain said her agency's fee relates to dry cleaning chemicals. The DEC fee also relates to chemicals while the village fee is charged to all businesses.

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