MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — He doesn’t want to raise property taxes, so Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has come up with some unique ways to balance the 2017 budget.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, it’s a sparked a fight over fees.
Pet groomers have squawked back with a resounding ‘no’ after hearing about proposed new fees to do business in Nassau County. Health clubs may also be forced to pay $600 for a county business license to protect customers from being swindled, and to ensure health and safety standards are upheld.
“We are being nickle and dimed and we pay high taxes as it is,” one taxpayer said.
The Nassau Executive has proposed unusual new fees in his 2017 budget — to raise revenue and pay for more police.
CBS2 recently reported on the controversial $105 ‘public safety’ fee on all traffic and parking tickets, and now small businesses may be asked for increased registration fees that first went into effect just two years ago.
“We send the right message by not increasing real property taxes. That being said this is a country that has significant services for our residents that they expect,” Mangano said, “Those costs have gone up. We are making the vendor pay for those costs, and not the taxpayer. You never want to increase fees, you have to do that or further cut regulatory services, and in this case it’s health, safety, and welfare.”
In the year before he runs for re-election Mangano has reiterated that he is not raising property taxes.
More than 80 parks department fees may go up — that will eventually come out of the consumer’s pocket for a round of gold, swimming, or ice skating.
The medical examiner will charge $80 for cremation clearance.
“Terrible, can’t afford it. I’m living on a fixed income,” one resident said.
Fees would also go up for dry cleaners, coin laundries, locksmiths, and funeral homes.
“Taxes here are already high. People are struggling,” another resident added.
Storage warehouses, electronic appliance repair shops, home improvement contractors, and tattoo piercing parlors will also be affected.
Democrats in the county legislature don’t like it.
“It’s a fee, but it is really a back door tax. What it does is it cripples our small business, it hurts our taxpayers,” Kevan Abrahams (D), minority leader, Nassau County Legislature, said.
The chamber of commerce said if more people shopped locally, fee hikes wouldn’t be necessary.
Many homeowners said they support the efforts not to raise property taxes, but they aren’t sure that this is the best way.
Mangano is awaiting formal comment from Republicans and Democrats in the legislature. The fiscal oversight board — NIFA — must also approve the 2017 budget.
If apprived into the budget, the ticket fees would create $64-million in new revenue, small business fees would create another $2-million.