MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –– He’s vowing not to raise property taxes in the current political climate, but with sales taxes down, and revenues from red light cameras down, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano still faces a staggering budget deficit.
One of the richest counties in America is now in a financial crisis, largely of its own doing, many Nassau taxpayers told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Monday.
“I think they should learn how to manage their money better,” one person said.
“We need to slim down on administration,” another added.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
Residents are now learning of additional controversial cutbacks and layoffs to further trim spending as Nassau grapples with an immediate $45 million shortfall.
“We made some very painful choices to get us in balance here,” Mangano said.
Mangano has claimed he inherited a looming budget deficit of $400 million. He has already pink-slipped close to 400 workers, outsourced the county’s bus system and shut half of its police precincts.
On Monday, the county executive said property taxes will not be raised, but under the plan, 200 more jobs will be cut. However, 62 of those positions are early retirement and people leaving voluntarily, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports
Other cuts include slashing capital improvement projects, cancelling non-mandated contracts and eliminating some evening hours at the Department of Social Services and the Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
When asked if he plans to raise some fees, Mangano said, “Yes, there will be some fee increases that come out of this process.”
They include those for swimming lessons, registration at county parks, helicopter Medevac transport, and false house and business alarms that are reported to the police department.
Richard Guardino, a dean of Hofstra’s University’s Breslin Business Center, told CBS 2’s McLogan that Nassau must rethink the future.
“[Mangano is] making these cuts very, very hard. People are going to be hurt, but over the long term, these are the kinds of structural changes that are necessary in the Nassau County budget,” Guardino said.
Some lawmakers admitted there’s no magic bullet. They said they must now agree how best to allocate the pain.
Some local economists think raising taxes, reining in labor costs, and requiring public employees to contribute to their health care plans are better solutions.
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