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Islip comptroller grilled at budget hearing

Steven J. Flotteron (R), candidate for town council

Steven J. Flotteron (R), candidate for town council (Aug. 3, 2009)
Read more about Steven Flotteron Credit: Ed Betz

Two days after Republicans took back future control of Islip’s Town board, council members held a public hearing Thursday on the town’s 2012 budget.

No member of the public chose to speak at the meeting, which lasted about 15 minutes.

The board’s two sitting Republicans questioned town Comptroller Joseph Ludwig about the budget, however, which was prepared by the administration of Democratic Supervisor Phil Nolan, who appears to be on the verge of losing to GOP challenger Tom Croci.

GOP council members Steven Flotteron, above, and Trish Bergin Weichbrodt said they were concerned about the impact of County Executive Steve Levy’s proposal to shift to Suffolk’s 10 towns the cost of tuition for local students who attend state community colleges outside the county.

The move could mean Islip would have to come up with about $2 million next year, officials said.

If Islip is forced to foot the bill, officials might face raising taxes past the 2 percent state tax cap, Ludwig said.

Democratic county legislators, however, passed a measure Wednesday that they hope will eliminate the need to charge towns for out-of-county community college students.

The measure would repeal a cap on the sales tax for gasoline above $3 a gallon, resulting in $10.3 million in revenue that would relieve the towns from having to pay the community college bill.

Levy has threatened to veto the repeal.

The legislature, which passed two related measures pertaining to the repeal by votes of 11-7 and 12-6, would need 12 votes to override the veto.

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