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Hooper sales tax plan rejected, officials say

Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) on May 8, 2014.

Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) on May 8, 2014. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

ALBANY - Lawmakers won't approve a plan by Assemb. Earlene Hooper to force Nassau County to direct some of its sales tax revenue to two villages in her district, several Assembly officials said Thursday.

Instead, the Assembly will extend Nassau's authorization to collect the tax with no strings attached, officials said. The county's authorization, like many throughout New York, would expire this year if not renewed.

Politicians are expected to pass dozens of bills Thursday on what is expected to be the final day of the 2015 legislative session in Albany.

Hooper (D-Hempstead), revisiting a battle fought four years ago, was looking to secure of the county's annual sales tax revenue for two villages in her district, Freeport and Hempstead. She introduced a bill that would renew Nassau County's authorization to impose sales taxes - only if the county directed $2 million to Freeport and $2.5 million to Hempstead.

The Republican-led Senate favored a simple renewal of the county sales tax with no directives on how to split the money, which amounts to more than $300 million annually.

In 2011, Hooper blocked reauthorization of the county sales tax because she thought the Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, short-changed the villages in the county budget. They worked out an agreement to send each municipality $500,000 in extra payments - but it fell apart when Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos rejected the payments.

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