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Mortgage fees draw opposition from LI builders, Realtors

Mitchell Pally is shown in this file photo

Mitchell Pally is shown in this file photo taken in Manhattan on April 28, 2014. Credit: Bryan Smith

Builder and Realtor groups will oppose Suffolk and Nassau plans to increase mortgage fees, saying the hikes will drive up costs of housing.

The Long Island Board of Realtors and Long Island Builders Institute are drafting joint letters and plan to lobby lawmakers to oppose the fees, said Mitchell Pally, CEO of the builders institute.

Mary Alice Ruppert, realtors board president, said members were still reeling from the steep increases to closing costs that began this year.

“This blindsided our industry,” Rupert said. “This is not in the best interest of homeownership on Long Island.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone proposed a new $300 fee on mortgages and refinances to raise $33 million.

Nassau Executive Edward Mangano’s budget proposed increasing its mortgage fee from $300 to $350.

Suffolk Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider said the budget was lean. The alternative to the fees “are either dramatic increases to taxes or cuts to public safety,” he said.

“Rather than charge every homeowner through higher property taxes, the cost of providing these services are borne by those using them,” said Eric Naughton, Nassau’s Deputy County Executive for Finance.

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