Mangano, Suozzi face off in ’09 rematch

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Suozzi says that the film industry started up in Nassau County during his administration.

Taxes and finances

If elected, Suozzi said the county would look very different in four years. He said he is confident that its finances would no longer be under the control of NIFA, the assessment system would be fixed and plans would be in the works to revitalize 10 downtowns.

Mangano said he has created four consecutive budgets that have not raised property taxes. He also noted that one of his first acts as county executive was the repeal of the home energy tax.

“I believe high taxes kills jobs,” he said, adding that his economic policies are designed to keep jobs in Nassau County and create new ones. Mangano says he is proud of the fact that, at 5.9 percent, Nassau has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, which was confirmed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mangano has criticized Suozzi for raising taxes during his eight-year administration. Suozzi raised taxes 19 percent upon taking office, citing the need to close the budget deficit created by his predecessor, Tom Gulotta. The county also raised property taxes 3.9 percent in 2009, in addition to the energy tax.

“The knock on me is that I raised property taxes,” Suozzi said, “and I did my first year, but then I didn’t increase them for six years in a row.”

Suozzi says that Mangano’s policies, specifically regarding the assessment system have caused taxes to rise. He said that when homeowners successfully grieve their assessments and get their tax bills lowered, it shifts the burden to everyone else. School taxes have increased at a higher clip than promised by districts, Suozzi said, because of the assessment system.

He also criticized the Mangano administration for approving 9 out of every 10 assessment challengers by homeowners. If elected, Suozzi said he would go back to a system of re-valuing homes every year, or at the most every other year. To eliminate property tax refunds, Suozzi said he would consider a system in which residents could get the money they are owed through future tax credits.
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