REPEAL THE ENERGY TAX
He plans to sign the bill passed by county legislators at their last meeting of 2009 that repeals the 2.5 percent sales tax on home heating fuel imposed by the legislature’s Democratic majority earlier this year. He said he will announce within 60 days his plan to cut expenses or increase revenue to fill the $39-million budget gap created by the repeal, which doesn’t take effect until June. 1.
FIX THE TAX ASSESSMENT SYSTEM
Mangano campaigned on reforming the system, which costs Nassau $90 million a year in refunds because of overassessments. Mangano wants to move to a cyclic system of reassessing every two, three or four years rather than updating values annually, as the county has been doing since it first reassessed in 2003. Although experts prefer annual updates, some states reassess every four years. Mangano said he is studying what time frame will be the best, wanting to correct erroneous assessments before they are used to calculate property tax bills.
CUT WASTEFUL SPENDING, RESTORE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
To cut costs, Mangano said he will cut the number of people working in the county executive’s office. He said Tim Sullivan, his deputy for finance, is examining Nassau’s $2.6-billion budget and will be suggesting further amendments “to advance a more fiscally responsible budget.” Fiscal monitors have warned that Nassau’s budget, though technically balanced, is risky because it depends on the state approving a new cigarette tax, which has not happened, and improved sales tax revenue.
Expect a number of announcements with respect to stimulating job growth, Mangano said. He did not offer any specifics. He also said that his green energy plan will create jobs and encourage business.
LAUNCH GREEN ENERGY FUND
Mangano wants to establish a fund to loan homeowners and business owners money to convert to alternative energy sources, such as solar and geothermal. The loans would be secured by their property and paid back over 15 years. He said the program will reduce utility bills, put contractors to work and lower carbon emissions.
IMPROVE EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS
All 47 county department heads will be called together during Mangano’s first week in office, he said, to emphasize the need to keep employees informed about his administration. “In order to be successful in our policies, we want to improve the manner in which we communicate with our employees so they understand our policies and objectives and, more importantly, have an opportunity to comment on them,” he said.
ENACT REGULATORY REFORM
All existing legislation that places economic burdens on residents and business will be reviewed by a committee Mangano intends to form. He said that committee will evaluate whether the legislation is successful and achieves its purpose or just costs homeowners and businesses. He said the review will include county laws and policies, which he has the most power to change, but also will likely include comments on state and federal legislation.
STEM THE BRAIN DRAIN
To help young people afford to stay on Long Island, Mangano wants to interact more with business-generating “incubators” on Long Island. For example, in Bethpage, there is a home security incubator under construction, he said. He wants to persuade the businesses to provide college students with practical experience so they can get high-paying jobs on Long Island when they graduate, rather than leave the region.
WORK WITH ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE BETTERMENT OF NASSAU COUNTY
It’s not Mangano’s version of Fix Albany, his predecessor’s attempt to reform state practices, which angered lawmakers, he said. “I think my approach is to improve communication and cooperation with other levels of government,” he said. Mangano has met with Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and said they both want to work together to find ways to reduce costs for Nassau and Suffolk residents while improving efficiency and quality of services. For example, he said, Nassau could provide the children’s shelter for both counties and share operating costs. They also talked about joining forces to fight the heroin epidemic and to get federal money for sewer improvements.
REMEMBER TO PICK UP MILK ON THE WAY HOME
Mangano said he doesn’t want to shortchange his family by being too busy with all his county executive responsibilities. This priority means “not to forget my wife and family,” he said.