Democrats Rip Tax Refund Plan; Mangano Counters

Democratic Legislators, led by Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams, called on County Executive Edward P. Mangano this week to scrap his latest proposal to allow a private investor to buy $20 million in tax refund debt.

But the Mangano administration countered on Thursday. In a statement, Mangano's offiice said the proposal has been reviewed by the county Comptroller and Attorney's offices and "we have reached agreement on certain adjustments to the plan which we believe will preclude claims that this plan is a borrowing."

The Democrats contend that this proposed deal is a loan and is subject to approval of the Legislature and NIFA, the state control board overseeing Nassau’s finances. “However the administration attempts to dress it up as a settlement, it is in reality a loan,” Abrahams said.

“The administration is using an investor’s money to pay off county debt to the judgment creditors and creating a new $20 million debt to the investors.” "No debt is created," the Mangano statement countered.

 "No borrowing occurs. Nassau addresses liabilities directly with the Homeowner. The taxpayers get their refunds with interest." Mangano's office said the revised plan is being adjusted to make clear that the taxpayers who hold judgments are in charge. The taxpayers are able to settle their cases directly with the County and, if they choose, sell their settlements or judgments to any lawful assignee independent of the county, it said.

The proposed arrangement, crafted by County Attorney John Ciampoli, would increase Nassau’s already high debt and could potentially put the county’s credit rating at risk, according to the Democrats.

Bay Park Sewage Study

Mangano announced Monday that a major study is underway to explore new methods of discharging treated wastewater from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant. The study seeks to identify recommendations for onsite upgrades and improvements and determine the feasibility of constructing an outfall pipe that would extend into the Atlantic Ocean. Treated discharge, or effluent, is currently released into Reynolds Channel located on the north shore of Long Beach and south of the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant.  

Mangano praised Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand of New York for the study's funding.

"Together, we will work to improve our environment and repair the county's aging sewage treatment plants," Mangano said.

The study, funded by Nassau County Capital Improvement Funds and a reimbursement grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be conducted by CH2M Hill. The EPA grant will provide 55 percent of the project costs, up to a maximum of $275,500. The county's funds for the study are in lieu of a compliance order set forth by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) connected to violations that resulted from a spill of treated solids into Reynolds Channel in October 2010. The study began this summer and is expected to last about a year.

Candlelight Vigil Honors Nassau Vets

Nassau County remembered its veterans Monday with its annual POW/MIA Candlelight Vigil at Eisenhower Park, the day set aside as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

“We honor the sacrifice made by Prisoners Of War and those who have gone Missing in Action while defending the freedoms here in the USA and around the world,” Mangano said.

The event’s Keynote Speaker was Joyce Rommel of Freeport, whose husband was declared MIA in the mid-1960s after his aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam. His remains were discovered in the late 1990’s and were interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The solemn ceremony featured the reading of the names of all POW/MIAs from Nassau and Suffolk.
Arthur J caputo September 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM
There we go again with the republicans. Privatization. Investors, interest, PROFITS on the backs of the taxpayers. What a scheme. Only republicans can think of something like this.Meanwhile , billions of dollars of our taxpayer's money is going to SUBSIDIZE the rich oil companies.The republicans stopped Obama from trying to eliminate it.Don't you think we could use this money on the country and it's people? The republicans want to cut Social Security eliminate Medicare as we know it, cut libraries, hospitals, teacher's schools ,etc to make up for the lost revenues that we would lose by giving tax cuts to the rich.An outrage and a disgrace.Now we have a republican candidate, Romney, for president that tax dodges his money in Swiss and Cayman Island accounts He's really showing some patriotism ,isn't he? Wanting to drive us into the ditch that Bush and the republicans did when they had power.Blocking Obama's efforts to get us out of the ditch then trying to blame him for the economy. Another outrage. .
Robert Demarco September 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I am only going to address one part of your post: if the interest from the Swiss and Cayman Island accounts was reported on Romney's tax return, how did he dodge taxes? I have overseas investments via mutual funds. What is wrong with that? Also, what does this have to do with the situation in Nassau County?
Robert Demarco September 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM
If you take money to cover expenses, and pay it back with interest, that is BORROWING. They made adjustments. What that means is Papa Joe instructed the Comptroller to go along with the scheme, or the original opposition was a ruse to make it look like this was well thought out. These guys are not to be trusted.
Robert G. Schaffrath September 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM
It never ceases to amaze me that whatever party is in power in this county, Democrat or Republican, we get gimmicks, tricks and under-the-table deals. Now they want to reward private investors with a sweetheart interest deal all funded by us the taxpayers. 5.95% interest?!?!?! Where can I get a deal like that? I have a CD right now that pays 0.2%. Perhaps each individual homeowner with a refund claim, as has been reported in Newsday, be paid the interest directly and eliminate the middleman. We cannot do that though because it does not payoff loyal campaign contributors with a financial windfall and those pesky homeowners would be the ones getting the gift in high interest. Better to stick well connected people in the middle to collect the interest and let the homeowners themselves pay for the interest in higher taxes. Simply beautiful!
Rob September 29, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I think the Republicans want to poison the water and hurt the children too. While their at it they will probably throw Granny off a cliff
NH Runner September 29, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Attention taxpayers. The county collected more tax dollars from you than it was entitled to collect. it now is obligated to pay the money back to you with interest. sounds like we've already borrowed money. But county democrats won't let the county borrow at a lower interest rate in order to pay you back.
Mary Kirk September 29, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Please remind me what the democrats want to do?
Bojames September 29, 2012 at 02:24 PM
The County still inflates the clergy exemption ( NYS Real Property Law 460) by use of the 0.25% equalization rate , turning a $1500 exemption ( why we still have this on the books beats me) into as much as $14, 900 in Hewlett -Woodmere. Over 50 such exemptions in Lawrence. Many with this exemption pay NO school taxes..you and I pay it for them as the taxes have to be made up by other tax payers. Want specific data ? write to clergyexemptin@gmail.com
Rilog September 29, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Kevin Abrahams has a fit any time cutting the budget is mentioned because he represents a community that takes way more services than most while contributing a small fraction of tax revenue. Aside from taxing the rest of us out of our homes and trying to create more monority districts to increase his power what is his plan to solve Nassau's problems?
fred September 29, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I don't believe the Democrats have a plan for the county. Their plan is to retake the legislature and county exec and then it can be business as normal with higher taxes and sweetened rewards for the public unions
Jacksonian Democrat September 29, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Fred, the entire problem relates to assessments. Suozzi instituted a proper assessment system that aligned property taxes to real cost. Ergo, certiorari claims were reduced and the judgements were lessened. Day 1Mangano stopped the annual assessments. That exacerbated the problem as the debt line increased. What Republicans don't seem to grasp is that you cannot fundamentally reform the budget with properly dealing with this liability that comes from assement certiorari. Only when that line levels out, subject to year to year real estate market fluctuations, can we know what the true expenses line adds up to. At that point you can determine what revenue you need to meet those expenses, or how to shrink those expenses. That's the structural change Dems can bring.
NH Runner September 29, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Wrong. the county is paying 11%. if the debt is paid off by a third party under a deal in which the county repays the third party over time at 5%, that saves us money. the alternative is to pay it off all at once - which the democrats have blocked, or to float a bond at rates higher than 5%, which the democrats won't permit. pay it off or do the deal AND STOP THE POLITICAL GAMESMANSHIP
Nassau Taxpayer September 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Structured settlements pay at a discount; they don't pay 100% of amounts due.
Dorothy A Whalen September 29, 2012 at 07:55 PM
The Democrats, including NIFA - have been against every single thing, suggestion, plan, contract, discussion and perhaps even The County Executives 'thoughts' as they just about nay say, veto, vote against solutions before they are even in print.... From the get go this has been a pre-planned vendetta, as they never expected him to win, any more than they expected Pres. Bush to be re-elected..... so my advice to them is to start paying attention to your own jobs and security, and let this County be run by who was chosen as it's County Executive....... an election is soon to take place, and you just might be seeing a few more of your associates among the missing........ Bad enough this country has been led by the Democratic choice, into the pits, but this County is not far behind. Companies are leaving, our one and only source of entertainment will be packing up shortly, housing is at a standstill, residents are fleeing for better run states and food prices are sky high and the product ( coffee, sugar, cereal etc.... has shrunken by as much as 10 ounces or more, and you spend your time interfering with the problems and decisions of the elected County Executive! In other words.... BUG OFF!
Norm204 September 29, 2012 at 09:04 PM
What a political hack. If you took off your narrow minded glasses you will find that the Democrats are just as guilty. It is Obama and the Democrats that are sending billions of our taxpayer money to develop foreign oil fields, like the off shore resources of Brazil (owned by Soros, of course) instead of developing our resources. It is the Democrats and Obama who enrich the oil companies by refusing to expand our use of domestic natural gas. Why did Obama invest in solar panels companies (which of course are being put out of business by Chinese companies) instead of building a natural gas infrastructure to fuel trucks and cars....because he had to pay back his donors...so corrupt. Tell me, just why are you writing that the Republicans want to eliminate Social Security and Medicare...where do you come up with this stuff. Fiction. Face the truth, Obama's economic policies simply did not work. We cannot keep borrowing over 1Trilion dollars every year. We must try different economic solutions, ones that are pro business, not pro socialism.
Norm204 September 29, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Raise the taxes and pay off the debt. Stop playing games or paying huge interest....we taxpayers will pay the interest anyway. So raise the money. Secondly, this tax assessment system is corrupt...stop it. The only reason it continues is because the tax protest firms contribute mucho dollars every year to the politicians. In the past two years they have contributed $450,000 to politicians...a payoff and pure corruption. Put both the politicians and lawyers in jail....watch how fast the system is corrected
Robert Demarco September 29, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Basically, the Democrats are ruining the country, and the Republicans are ruining Nassau County. Mangano won by only 400 votes, because his idiot predessor thought he could be Governor. Mangano does not exactly have a mandate, and he is way over his head. He is a puppet to the party leaders.
Bernard Danuff September 30, 2012 at 02:09 PM
B.D. Syosset Political slight of hand. If most of us do not comprehend then someone is doing a good job of "flim flam"
ed September 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Mangano and the Nassau GOP...corrupt to the bone!
Mike Polansky September 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM
This is a pretty sad string of comments. I would once, just ONCE, like Mangano to announce a plan and have the Democrats respond with "Ed, there are lots of things we don't like about your plan, but lets get together an talk about the plan and see if we can come up with a mutually acceptable compromise. Except for some of the people at the fringes (see above) most of us are sick and tired of contentious political nonsense that solves nothing. We want our elected officials to work together to try and solve our problems. Do you hear those words folks -- "WORK TOGETHER!!!!"
Robert Demarco September 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM
As I have said before, every vote in the so called Legislature ends up10-9. None of our elected representatives has an original thought and none of them will vote against the Party line, hence nothing gets done. They are all pathetic.
Norm204 September 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM
County Comptroller Maragos, a Republican, crossed swords with his own party by expressing his opinion against this poitically motivated payoff scam. I don't think he will be invited to many party dinners in the future, unless his political head is on the menu. I totally agree that other than Maragos, non of our elected officials have "an orginal thought".
Robert Demarco September 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Norm, I am so cynical regarding these officials that perhaps Marago's initial opposition to the plan was a setup to give the appearance of due diligence. Nothing much changed in the plan that would make him come on board. It is still a loan, regardless of what the call it. The are borrowing money from private sources (connected friends of the Party) and will have to pay it back. Looks like a loan to me.
Norm204 September 30, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I believe that in the latest plan as described by Newsday there is no borrowing from any third party by the County. Either the property owner can make a deal directly with the County, or a third party can purchase the judgments from the property owner at a discount and then the County pay the third party the judgment amount. But there is no borrowing scheme from a third party. I believe that is so...could be wrong.
fred October 01, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Instead of paying cash directly for the refunds, why not apply it as a credit to next years taxes?
fred October 01, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Always later!
Vincent October 01, 2012 at 01:18 PM
The wouldn't be called Demcorats if they liked a tax refund.


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