Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano outlined the use of tax-cutting actions and creation of a “right-sized” workforce as ways he has revitalized a previously “broken Nassau” in his hour-long delivery of the State of the County address on March 13. The Office of Emergency Management in Mangano’s hometown of Bethpage was full of enthusiastic Republican supporters, as well as Democratic spectators who remained mum as the executive emphasized how his initiatives have paved the way for a more stabilized economy. Mangano also detailed his plans to make a smaller Nassau Coliseum in an effort to pay a $1.2 billion county tax assessment debt.
In his usually calm voice and soft-spoken demeanor, Mangano subtly blamed former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi and his administration’s spending practices for creating huge debt and tax increases. Mangano, who replaced eight-year incumbent Suozzi in 2010 and was tasked with moving the County out of a $400 million deficit, said that his predecessor had been responsible for raising property taxes by more than 42 percent.
“Nassau’s former plan was clear,” said Mangano. “Take more money from taxpayers to feed the out of control spending habits of government. What some politicians don’t understand is that government doesn’t need more of your money. They [the Suozzi administration] introduced a new home energy tax on everything used to heat or cool your home and sought to raise property taxes by another 16.5 percent and fill deficits by borrowing money.”
After alluding to Nassau County’s debt-mired state prior to taking office, Mangano went through a running list of ways he has reinvented Nassau. The night’s first of many rounds of applause for Mangano came when he mentioned that he had not increased property taxes for three consecutive budgets.
“I chose to repeal the energy tax,” he said. “I chose to eliminate tax hikes. I crossed political party lines and joined with Governor Cuomo in supporting a tax cap. I launched innovative solutions to save dollars and continue important services”