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Nassau Notebook: Tax Cap Finalized in County, Fireworks This Weekend

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

The following is a look back at some of the top stories in Nassau County over the past week:

Cuomo Inks Tax Cap Bill in Nassau County

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a property tax cap bill into law on Thursday, and pen met paper right here in Nassau County.

The bill signing took place at the home of Lynbrook residents James and Janet Gannon, who, like many families in Nassau County, are struggling with high property taxes. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was on hand for the signing of the bill.

"I applaud the state legislature for heeding the call of overtaxed homeowners throughout our state. Capping property taxes is the first step in a long line of reforms needed to help homeowners, employers and local governments stay afloat during these tough economic times," Mangano said. "Just as I joined Governor Cuomo in standing strong for a property tax cap, I will call on him and the legislature to take the next step by reforming the Medicaid system that has contributed to Nassau residents paying the highest property taxes in the nation. Today's battle is won, yet the war against higher property taxes is not over."

Fireworks at Eisenhower Park

The popular Jones Beach fireworks show has been cancelled, but you can still see the sky light up over Eisenhower Park in East Meadow tonight.

The fireworks, presented by Grucci, begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. But residents can come down early and spend time with Mr. Scott the Music Man at 5:40 p.m., followed by "Slippery When Wet," a Bon Jovi tribute band, at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the day's events, visit www.nassaucountyny.gov\parks.

An tUasal Airgead July 03, 2011 at 12:57 AM
There is enough blame to go around on both sides of the fence. There has been a steady stream of deregulation of everything from utilities & trucking to communications & finance since the Nixon days, by all administrations. Some of the leading contributors to Wall Street running amok with the mortgage disaster come from Carter, Reagan & Clinton. Carter – The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 = deregulated mortgage market and made home loans more available. Reagan – The Alternative Mortgage Transactions Parity Act of 1982 = new and exotic mortgages. (The Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 = Savings & Loan crisis) Clinton - Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 = neutering The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. (Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 = high food and fuel prices - due to large investors/speculators moving their money to commodities, because they were now allowed to, when the mortgage securities went in the toilet)
Joe the Plumber July 03, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Speaking about the 2% property tax cap, E.J. McMahon, senior fellow for the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy, applauded the cap and said the most important change is how contingency budgets will be adopted. Currently, a twice-rejected school budget leads to a contingency budget that has a fixed spending increase, sometimes even higher than what voters shot down. It can be a spending increase of 4 percent or 120 percent of the inflation rate. But the new law would prohibit a school district from increasing taxes at all if voters rejected the budget twice. It will raise the stakes for schools, which will fear the consequences of a budget proposal out of line with voter sentiment, McMahon predicted. "That is the most significant part of this," he said. "You will see very few zero percent increases, but what you'll see are schools being very careful on what they will propose. And that will be single greatest impact of the property-tax cap."
Wayne Smith July 04, 2011 at 10:58 AM
Let me echo some of the comments on this thread: my second thought about this tax cap is that it's bogus. When it comes to pension obligations, the numbers just can't work. That's why there were early discussions about exempting increases in pension costs and that's why there's now a bill that, as I understand it, awaits the governor's signature, which would allow school districts to float bond issues without voter approval in order to finance pension obligations. Last year, school districts had to contribute $900 million to the state teacher's pension fund, but current projections forecast that they will have to contribute five times this amount, $4.5 billion within five years. According to the Manhattan Institute, that's the equivalent of a 3.5% increase in your property taxes every year for the next five years. Just to be clear, that increase doesn't reflect any increases that would be driven by other factors: salary increases, "step" increases, increases in health care benefits, and any increased investment in actual curriculum programs and extracurricular activities, you know, the stuff that's actually "for the kids." (to be continued)
Wayne Smith July 04, 2011 at 10:58 AM
So bottom line here is that there's another shoe that's going to drop. Apparently, there were statements from Cuomo's office that he opposed the bill allowing districts to bond pension obligations, but to my knowledge, he hasn't actually vetoed it. The cynic in me believes that he will sign this, without nearly the fanfare that has accompanied the tax cap legislation. I may be wrong and certainly I hope I'm wrong, but when you look at these numbers, something's going to have to give.
Josie July 15, 2011 at 01:04 AM
Cuomo vetoed the pension bill yesterday, 7/13.

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