NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The candidates for Nassau County Executive faced off in a spirited debate ahead of Tuesday’s election.
CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson moderated the debate between incumbent Republican Ed Mangano and Democratic challenger Tom Suozzi, who is seeking to get his old job back. Suozzi lost to Mangano in the last election.
As CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported, it is common practice for Nassau County residents to file lawsuits to get real estate taxes lowered. It’s become a parlor game that has cost the county millions in revenue.
“I’ve never filed a grievance,” Mangano said during the debate.
“I haven’t filed for a grievance either,” said Suozzi.
But just because neither man sought to get money back doesn’t mean they didn’t clash, Kramer reported.
“Mr. Mangano should have filed for a grievance because his taxes have gone up by $2,800,” Suozzi said.
“If you get a reduction you’re criticized for it. So I have never done it,” Mangano said
The debate, held at CBS 2, covered everything from fixing schools to whether to raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes.
“Will you commit here today to not raising taxes, property taxes and reinstituting the 4 percent tax on heating oil and gas?” Johnson asked the candidates.
The energy tax was a Suozzi idea.
“I’ll certainly not reimpose the energy tax, as it’s called. It was a bad idea and it didn’t work out well,” Suozzi said. “Regarding property taxes you can raise property taxes above the property tax cap.”
“I have declared war on property taxes. I eliminated his home energy tax which was a bad idea, hurt our economy.
Mangano is stridently against the idea. Suozzi said it makes sense to raise it to cut down on teenage smoking.
You can see the full debate Sunday morning at 8 a.m. on WLNY TV 10-55 and then at 1 p.m. on CBS 2.
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