Bethpage, NY - Making good on his commitment to the voters, County Executive Edward P. Mangano repealed Nassau County’s home energy tax as his first order of business during his inauguration address today at his alma mater, Bethpage High School.
Joined onstage by his family, members of his cabinet and federal, state and local elected officials from both sides of the aisle, Mangano signed the order in front of the more than 1,300 people who filled the main auditorium before he began his speech.
“During the campaign, I promised when elected that--on day one--I would repeal the home energy tax,” said Mangano at the podium. “The document I just signed makes good on my promise and that of my Republican colleagues, and the home energy tax is hereby repealed.”
Mangano takes over the helm of the County while it is at a dire fiscal crossroads. Nassau is facing a deficit that could grow to as much as $400 million in 2011.
County Executive Mangano also took aim at Nassau’s broken property reassessment system.
“Nassau County's system of property assessment has played a catastrophic role in our County's current fiscal turmoil,” said Mangano. “It is because of this system that Nassau taxpayers and future generations are indebted for over $1.2 Billion for past errors. And, in 2010 the county is projecting that another $100 million will be paid for prior years’ errors.”
To combat the problem, Mangano signed two executive orders on his first day in office establishing a Property Assessment team that will streamline the reassessment process for both commercial and residential property owners. The team will hold public hearings around Nassau and will deliver a report directly to the County Executive’s office no more than six months from January 1, 2010.
“We simply cannot survive if the system is allowed to continue this way, which is why I have signed an Executive Order which outlines certain short-term steps that will immediately reduce the cost of our flawed assessment system,” said Mangano.
Interest in being in the audience for Mangano’s inauguration was high and additional seating had to be established to accommodate the overflow crowd.
As Mangano spoke about working in a bipartisan manner to begin to repair the damaged finances of Nassau County, the main auditorium stage offered evidence that he has garnered the support of many elected officials regardless of party lines. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat, spoke during the program. Also present were U.S. Representative Peter King and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Mangano also pointed out that many of the issues facing Nassau County are Island-wide, and his administration plans to work with Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to find ways to tackle some of the challenges that have regional impact.
“It’ll take the collective efforts of everyone in this room and on both sides of the aisle. It will take hard work, understanding, cooperation and communication,” said Mangano. “We can--and will do it together.”
Edward P. Mangano is the eighth County Executive in Nassau’s history.