48° Good Morning
48° Good Morning

Letter: Borrowing from Suffolk's fund

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone uses a map

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone uses a map of Suffolk County to point out his administration's proposed efforts to clean the water infrastructure along the South Shore. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Regarding "Fall vote on water funds is right move in Suffolk" [Editorial, June 10], I wish to make it clear that money used in my administration for tax relief never came from a fund slated for open space or cleaning the environment.

Money in the Sewer Stabilization Fund could be used only for stabilizing sewer rates and not for clean water purposes. It was discovered that the sewer fund had enough money to stabilize rates for 20 years and still have more than $100 million remaining. Rather than have this surplus sit idle, my bill -- written with environmental groups -- permitted the use of the excess funds to keep our water clean through sewer and septic enhancements, while also providing property tax relief for 10 years.

The new agreement by County Executive Steve Bellone allows him to borrow money for the budget for the next three years, only to have a future county executive and legislature repay it, likely necessitating a property tax hike.

The fact that there was such a huge surplus shows the taxpayers had been overtaxed for many years. Taxpayers should get that money back rather than having to refill this kitty by potentially having their property taxes hiked further.

Steve Levy, Bayport

Editor's note: The writer was the Suffolk County executive from 2004 to 2011.