Letter: Defending Nassau tax policies
School tax bills recently arrived and once again, we all learned that school districts are spending too much and taxing too high.
As Nassau County executive, I have worked tirelessly to cut government waste and freeze county property taxes every year. I also have been commended by the state of New York for cutting costs through department consolidation. To blame school tax hikes on the county is wrong.
I find it a bit disconcerting that Newsday's Oct. 9 editorial ["Mangano, taxes and assessments"] would attempt to blame me for the school property tax increases that result because a homeowner exercises his or her right to challenge an assessment or to file for a property tax exemption. It seems that if it were up to Newsday, even the victims of superstorm Sandy should not benefit from having a lower assessment or paying lower property taxes.
I understand that there are a number of mitigating financial factors that can negatively impact a school district's budget. What cannot be ignored is the fact that school district spending goes up every year -- which accounts for more than 67 percent of a homeowner's average tax bill. It is that spending that has drained the wallets of our overtaxed and frustrated homeowners.
I am proud of what I have achieved as the county executive in the four years. During my leadership, I have acted decisively and made some tough but necessary decisions that have corrected many of the financial problems I inherited.
I will continue to work to promote fairness and equity in the assessment roll by guaranteeing the right of homeowners to challenge their property tax assessments.
Nassau County is on its way back and I am proud to have played a part in its recovery.
Edward Mangano, Mineola
Editor's note: The writer is the Nassau County executive.