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Long Island Politics: Addressing special districts

The article below focuses largely on characters and alliances related to the special district issue. Though, it is also important to note the general direction of legislation which may force local governments to consolidate special districts.

Some citizens are not aware that their tax bills include items –such as water tax and sewer tax and fire tax –that in various locales are part of special districts, with elections than happen at odd times during the year.

(excerpt from) Newsday.com
Cuomo enjoys some good vibes over special districts

by Dan Janison / May 21, 2009

The pitch has a fine populistic ring, and yesterday before the audience at the Long Island Association, it rewarded state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo with the kind of vibes he must like…

Give people and their elected officials a way to shrink the dizzying array of local taxing entities that have evolved over many decades, goes the well-received pitch.

Each community can decide how to proceed. If the politicians prove reluctant to cut local government and its overhead, the people may, with a modest number of signatures, force a referendum. Dissolving an entity and its patronage jobs and perks lacks a clear route in law that wouldn’t require a team of attorneys, he says.

He goes further, beyond the bill’s provisions to some broader-based rationale. The expense of government must be cut, not just contained, he says…

For all the sunshine Cuomo enjoyed in Suffolk for his effort, the skies over Nassau look grayer…

This week, however, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) advanced Cuomo’s cause by introducing and supporting a draft bill. But action in the state Senate can prove unpredictable…

So nobody’s hanging a “mission accomplished” banner. Said Cuomo: “I’m cautiously optimistic. Remember, this is Albany. Before it’s done, it’s not done.”

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