If only the president and the United States Senate were asresponsible as the voters of Nassau County who rejected a bondissue that would have substantially increased debt andconsequentially taxes in the highest taxed county in America.
You would think it would be a no-brainer. But then again, whenyour county government is run by Ed Mangano, a Republican executivewho went as far as to spend county resources on an advertisingcampaign to win the vote, you know you are at risk.
Of course, this should come as no surprise, considering thatthis same Ed Mangano — who was elected on a platform of fiscalreform — has ignored a state control board, his own countycomptroller and the county legislature’s demands to cutspending.
Mangano even took the highly unusual step of calling theelection on a Monday in August, hoping that the lower turnout wouldhelp his cause. Ironically, his attempt to raise the county’s debtcame the same day the Congress and president agreed to do the same.Nassau voters might not have been able to stop the federalgovernment, but they were able to stop their county.
Mangano was all too willing to go along with Islanders’ ownerCharles Wang’s threat to move the Islanders regardless of thecounty’s finances or its effect on individuals.
It’s worth noting that the Yankees, the Mets and, for thatmatter, Madison Square Garden, which is undergoing extensiverehabilitations, haven’t received anything even remotelysimilar.
The Yankees did receive some assistance with tax free bonds tohelp defray the cost of specific improvements required by the NYPDand Homeland Security due to the international fame of the stadium.The Mets essentially funded Citi Field on their own, with the cityand MTA doing some transportation infrastructure improvements.
Madison Square Garden is being rehabbed and, for that matter,the new arena in Brooklyn is being built at the expense of thedeveloper, although in both cases the city and MTA have done anumber of upgrades.
And, to add insult to injury, Wang was going to make a fortunefrom development rights he would have had for many acres ofvaluable land that would be part of the overall deal.
Charles Wang is a very wealthy man. His Islanders are a popularfranchise that is making money. Like any business owner looking fora home for his enterprise, he should build it himself. If hechooses not to, the taxpayers should not be saddled with the billto make him richer.
Long Island is an important market. If Wang takes his Islanderssomewhere else, it will only be a short time before anotherenterprising businessperson figures out a way to bring in a newteam.
When that occurs, hopefully Ed Mangano will be in retirement.Otherwise, who is to say he would not once again offer hisconstituents’ pocketbooks to make a wealthy man wealthier?
In any event, the anti-tax movement lives on in Nassau County.And based on the national reaction of anti tax activists to theconvoluted federal debt agreement, the movement lives on despitethe president and U.S. Senate’s efforts to ignore them.Fortunately, the House — which could not win the day — was ableto stop any tax increases and obtain a process for meaningfulcuts.