Let's keep Nassau County a great place to live and work

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Despite the setbacks with Bay Park, things are looking up for Nassau’s economy. Just a few weeks ago, I reported that despite having the odds stacked against us economically, with an aging population and some of the highest tax rates in the country, Nassau and Suffolk counties had the fastest-growing economies in the state. In June alone, Long Island managed to add 22,900 private-sector jobs.

Last week, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos reported that Nassau County is on track to end fiscal 2013 with a $5.6 million budgetary surplus for its primary operating fund. Despite a decrease in federal and state aid, soaring sales tax revenues have helped the county achieve an operating surplus. According to Maragos’s report, those revenues have risen 10.4 percent so far this fiscal year.

Keep in mind that Nassau County will still end the year with a negative balance of approximately $119.6 million. However, that’s a vast improvement since 2009, when Mangano and his administration took office facing a deficit of over $300 million left by the administration of Tom Suozzi.

There has been some debate about whether or not Mangano deserves credit for the surplus. In a recent column, Newsday’s Joye Brown pointed out that the Democrats are quick to say “no way” every time Mangano proclaims a “surplus.” How quickly we forget that the Nassau Interim Finance Authority allowed Suozzi to count borrowed money as revenue, yet it won’t let Mangano do the same.

This is a great accomplishment for Mangano and Maragos. They have cut by more than half the debt left by the previous administration. Mangano has refused to raise taxes, and eliminated hundreds of patronage jobs that were bleeding the county dry. Let’s not forget that Governor Cuomo and the state awarded Nassau County $5 million for its efforts to consolidate local government.
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