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         February 8, 2002

G.O.P. Legislators Blast Democrats' Income Tax Proposal

All nine members of the Nassau County Republican Legislative Delegation today joined in voicing strong and absolute opposition to County Democrats' proposal to consider imposing a County income tax on Nassau residents.

"Apparently County Executive Tom Suozzi, contrary to his campaign promise to cut spending, plans on partnering with the Democrat majority on the Legislature and driving Nassau residents out of their homes," said Republican Delegation leader Peter Schmitt. "The last thing we need in Nassau is yet another tax."

Suozzi and Democrat Legislators have indicated they are considering a tax on the income of taxpayers who earn in excess of $100,000. "Considering the large number of households with both husband and wife working, some more than one job each, this tax would hit squarely at middle class taxpayers, whose taxable incomes exceed the $100,000 threshold," Schmitt continued. "It also would impact negatively on those who aspire to better themselves through advancement in their careers. Why bother to try harder if you'll be penalized financially for it?"

"Tom Suozzi campaigned on the pledge of $100 million worth of cost savings," said Schmitt. "And now, six weeks into his administration, he's not only yet to propose a dollar's worth of cuts, but he's made Newsday's front page twice - considering first, a 15% property tax increase and now a new income tax."

Schmitt stated emphatically that Republican Legislators remain committed to achieving spending cuts through fair and realistic contract settlements with the County's labor unions, consolidation of municipal services and operational efficiencies. "For the past two years the Republican Delegation has consistently put forth cost saving proposals that have largely been ignored by the Democrat Majority on the Legislature," said Schmitt. "We will continue to seek these savings while voting against the tax hikes so favored by County Democrats."

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