The Long Island Association has joined the real estate industry to oppose mortgage fee increases proposed by Nassau and Suffolk counties.
“Raising closing costs is not helpful to the real estate industry and not helpful to our efforts to create affordable housing on Long Island,” Kevin Law, LIA president and CEO, said.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone have proposed mortgage fee hikes in 2017 to balance multimillion-dollar deficits.
The LIA has avoided publicly criticizing counties’ policies for the past few years. But Law said, “the finances of both counties are in terrible shape. And there needs to be more restructuring of government rather than imposing fees and taxes to cover their shortfalls.”
After both counties hiked mortgage fees this year, Nassau is considering an increase of the mortgage recording fee from $300 to $350. Suffolk is debating a new $300 per lot fee to record a new mortgage or refinance an existing mortgage, plus a $25 increase to the tax map verification fee.
Mangano and Bellone aides have defended the fees as necessary to avoid tax hikes or steep cuts to programs. “Home values are on the rise and Nassau has a growing population,” said Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin, who said he hadn’t seen Law’s comments.