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Nassau County Legislature

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December 21, 2010

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Legislator Howard Kopel Praises New Cost - Cutting

Measures to Increase Savings to Nassau County

Legislator Howard J. Kopel stated his enthusiastic support for new cost-cutting measures ordered this past week by County Executive Edward Mangano.

Building on the County Executive’s balanced No Property Tax Increase Budget for 2011, the additional cuts in unnecessary spending will save taxpayers another $23 million each year. “These cuts signal strong leadership,” says Legislator Kopel. “The only way to close a $343 million deficit is to slam the door on the unfunded mandates and government waste we’ve seen for the past decade. It’s time to put the County’s finances back in order.”

The County Executive’s cost cut savings announcement included $15 million from a Countywide hiring freeze on non-essential employees, $5 million from spending reductions on supplies and contracts, $2 million by merging several county departments to increase efficiency, and an additional $1 million by eliminating 5,000 unused telephone lines.

Since taking office, County Executive Mangano and Legislator Kopel blocked former-County Executive Tom Suozzi’s plan to raise Nassau County property taxes by $325.1 million over four years, and shielded taxpayers from another $160 million burden by repealing the infamous home energy tax.

In October, despite the County’s historically unprecedented $343 million deficit, County Executive Mangano and the Legislative Majority honored their campaign promise to not raise taxes, and brought the 2011 budget into balance by cutting $148 million in government spending and reducing the County’s bloated payroll. Payroll reductions for 2011 will bring the county’s workforce to its lowest level since the 1950s.

“These new spending cuts are further conformation that my colleagues and I are doing exactly what Nassau County voters elected us to do,” says Legislator Kopel.

Referring to complaints dismissing the $23 million savings as a ‘drop in the bucket,’ Legislator Kopel says, “Based on the size of the deficit we inherited last January, I’m not surprised that some consider $23 million a drop in the bucket.”

Pararaphrasing the late, Senator Everett Dirksen’s famous quip about runaway spending, Legislator Kopel, says, “ ‘A million here, a million there, and soon you're talking about real money.’ If the previous majority would’ve known the value of a dollar instead of frivolously spending all our taxpayer’s hard-earned money, we wouldn’t be in such a mess.”