Friday, April 02, 2010

The Party Goes On At The Special Taxing Districts

From The Party That Brought You Special Trucks To Pick Up Bread During Passover

Seems that reining in those renegade special districts isn't much of a priority for Nassau County's newly-elected Republican Comptroller, George Maragos.

Anybody surprised?

After all, the sanitary districts, water districts, lighting districts, waste disposal districts -- you name 'em, we've got 'em -- are the last great bastion of patronage and power for the Grand Old Party of No, and Mr. Maragos could well be the poster child for keeping that party (complete with 52" HDTVs and bottomless kegs) going.
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From News12 Long Island:
Nassau activists urge special districts reform

(04/01/10) FLORAL PARK - Protesters pressed Nassau’s new comptroller Thursday to pick up where his predecessor left off on special tax district consolidation, but he is adamant against the idea.

Former Comptroller Howard Weitzman reported finding countless examples of waste in the county’s special tax districts, like fire, police, water and sanitation. He said taxpayers end up paying much more than they need to.

George Maragos, who now holds the job, says his first priority is fixing the county’s $250 million deficit.

“Advocating consolidation of special districts on a broad level, on a county level, for us makes no sense,” Maragos says.

Protesters say the tax districts should either be combined or eliminated.
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No sense to Maragos. Nonsense to every homeowner and business owner in Nassau County who pays property taxes!
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For more information on the special taxing districts, visit the website of Residents for Efficient Special Districts (RESD) at


  1. So for all the talk and all the boasting we heard from Maragos about what an effective comptroller he would make, now he shows his true colors by rolling over on the issue of special districts, preserving the sanctity of the Republican patronage machine. I think it's fair to say that the jury is still out when it comes to any definitive assessment of Ed Mangano's tenure as county executive; on the other hand, the recent statements by Mr. Maragos clearly mark him as a likely failure in what are still only the early days of his term as comptroller.

  2. What else would you expect from the Republican Comptroller? He's not going to bite the hand that feeds him.
    Thankfully, the Attorney General has armed the citizens with the power to do their own consolidation, regardless of what the Comptroller, County Executive or Supervisor thinks. Now we must use that power to begin to dismantle the ridiculous number of fiefdoms that exist on Long Island.

  3. Kates Gotta Go,

    Exactly, the AG has given citizens the power to initiate consolidation. So get off your butt and do something about it!

    Why do all you sheep wait around for government/elected officials to intitiate change? The AG has outlined a clear and simple method towards district consolidation. Follow directions! Why must everything be mandated by government?

    New state legislation that went into effect March 21 created methods to consolidate or dissolve many kinds of special taxing districts. Here's how the process works:

    The governing body of a special district can propose the change.

    The County Legislature can propose the change.

    Residents of the district can request the change through a petition signed by 10 percent, or 5,000 registered voters in the district, whichever is less.

    The proposed changes then must gain voter approval in a districtwide referendum.

    Is there any mention of the Comptroller's office? He has no power to consolidate. Stop whining. It seems like you have no interest in allowing your fellow district residents to vote on consolidation.

  4. Sorry but I don't agree. Don't get me wrong, I think the new state legislation is a good idea, but fundamentally it's a "workaround" designed to overcome the larger problem of failed leadership. In the meantime, what really are the chances that a special district is going to come forward with a proposal to do away with itself? Similarly, I see little chance a county legislature or any other governmental body, with a vested interest in patronage and politics as usual, is going to do anything meaningful in conjunction with this legislation. As noted, this law does give district residents the right to mount a petition drive, but as witnessed in Gordon Heights, there are still too many options for our "leadership" to engage in what is essentially a campaign of attrition, designed to take the steam out of any grassroots movement.

    Ultimately, I would continue to maintain that we have every right in the world to hold our elected officials accountable for the mess we're in and for fixing it. I, for one, am not inclined to let them off the hook, simply because now individual citizens can try to do what these guys should have done years ago.

  5. Join the movement on FB, do away with wasteful special districts!