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OpinionLetters

Letter: Nassau Leg. shouldn't borrow more

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Wednesday he

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Wednesday he will veto legislative changes to his 2015 budget that stripped out a 3.4 percent property tax increase, setting up a possible showdown with the county Legislature. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Nassau County Legislature was thinking of refusing a $41 tax increase ["End to tax fight," News, Nov. 11]. This fight was pathetic and fiscally ridiculous.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, as of 2012 Nassau, was the 13th richest county in the United States, with a median annual household income of $93,214. Our county taxes pale in comparison to our immense school tax burden. Our county budget deficit is in the tens of millions. How far will $41 take you these days?

The legislature would rather wait for me to make a mistake at a red-light camera and bill me $80 instead. The legislature wanted to borrow more money to pay for property tax refunds, as if replacing debt with debt is the fiscally responsible thing to do, particularly after the heavy borrowing of recent years.

Delaying a tax increase too long would build up so much debt and deferred costs that the tax increase would have to be 34 percent, not 3.4 percent. But if all the voters care about is property taxes, then our legislators were politically correct, even if they were fiscally incorrect and irresponsible. Kick the can down the road, then blame your successor for a huge tax increase.

Dan Okrent, Hempstead
 

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