NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Those despised school speed cameras on Long Island may soon be replaced with other things taxpayers may not like: higher 911 fees and highway billboards.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, with school speed cameras turned off, the race is on to find $30 million– the amount speed cameras were budgeted to rake in.READ MORE: Pumpkins May Be More Expensive This Year Due To Smaller Crop, Farmers Say
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano proposed nearly tripling the 911 call fee from 35 cents per month on landline bills to $1.
“It’s not a good idea. It’s always another dollar and another dollar,” one resident said.
“Telephone bills are bad enough as it is,” another said.
In addition to the 911 surcharge to generate $10 million, electronic advertising billboards have also been proposed on the Long Island Expressway to bring in $6 million.
That proposal isn’t going over too well either, Gusoff reported.
“Do we really need another distraction for our drivers?” one woman said.
“I don’t like that idea, its ugly enough,” another told CBS2.
Other proposals include $13 million in cuts to Nassau University Medical Center, and $6 million in revenue for patrolling state roads.READ MORE: NYC Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Face Off In Fiery Final Debate
Long Island Expressway ticket revenue now goes to Albany.
Critics call it all backdoor taxes, Gusoff reported.
“Adding more fees and more expenses to their pockets, it’s taking the speed cameras and it’s adding it with 911 surcharge. So one way or the other they’re going to pay and that’s just not right,” Kevan Abrahams said, Nassau legislature minority leader.
Jennifer Lanter helped lead the fight against school speed cameras and thinks the proposed fees are more transparent.
“Nobody wants the idea of more taxes or alternative measures, that may not be pleasant, but it’s definitely preferable to what we had,” she said.
Local or state lawmakers must sign off on any of these fees or changes. Legislators say they are weighing options, but a property tax increase is not one of them.
New York City is one of the few municipalities in the state that already has a $1 surcharge for 911 on landline bills. New Jersey charges 90 cents per month.
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