By Judy Jacobs
As your County Legislator and a former school teacher, I have always been deeply committed to our excellent school districts and the foundation they provide for our children’s future.
It is for this exact reason that I was never in favor of shifting the cost of property tax refunds from the county to the school districts. However, that being said, it certainly appeared that the shift would occur.
I was therefore pleased to learn that the State Appeals Court rejected Nassau’s attempt to shift that cost on the basis that Nassau’s repeal of the County Guarantee violates the NY Constitution and the State Municipal Home Rule law. The latter two limit the county’s power to enact laws involving taxation.
In 2010, the Republican Majority on the Legislature voted to eliminate that guarantee. The Democratic Minority voted against this decision. Obviously in ruling on a suit brought by over 40 school districts, the Town of North Hempstead, special districts and some individual taxpayers, the Appellate Division unanimously overturned the lower court ruling which had affirmed the County repeal.
I have urged the County not to appeal this State Appeals Court ruling.
If this change had been successful, it would truly have been a move to make the voters believe they were being saved tax dollars. In fact, it was only shifting the same dollars to the school tax instead of the county tax. It amazes me, as an elected official, that some elected officials do not realize that the electorate is too smart to believe deception.
I am pleased for all of us, especially the residents, who in most cases purchased their homes due to the excellent school districts that were in the district. Of first and foremost importance is the children’s education and the ability of the districts to provide them with the best foundation they can, especially while dealing with at 2 percent cap.
If you have any questions please call me at 571-6216 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.