Reclaim New York Initiative Calls on Nassau Legislature to Stop Increasing Illegal Fees & Remove Them from County Budget

New “Fight the Fees” Campaign Will Engage Citizens to End Illegal Fees  

(Mineola, NY) — On the steps of the county legislature today, Reclaim New York Initiative called on Nassau County legislators to reject all $59 million in illegal fee increases from the County Executive’s proposed budget, and urged the elimination of illegal fees already in the budget. The group also announced their “Fight the Fees” campaign to engage citizens in ending illegal fees across the state.

“We call on county legislators to reject the proposed increase in illegal fees, and to remove all illegal fees from the budget. Illegal fees are theft, stop stealing from Nassau County residents,” said Reclaim New York Initiative Executive Director Brandon Muir. “We also call on citizens to fight back against this illegal practice wherever government abuses fees to grab for their hard-earned money.”

There are at least $94 million in illegal fees in the county budget from three agencies, the County Clerk’s office, Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, and the Department of Assessment. New York State law holds that fees must be tied to the cost of services, only taxes can be used to raise revenue.

“Nassau County’s budget has been a dumpster fire for too long. When the county turned to fees to illegally raise revenue it became an illegal dumpster fire.” said Brandon Muir. “This is unacceptable. Normal people call this stealing, county officials can no longer get away with calling it budgeting.”

Muir added, “These illegal fees are a dishonest practice that keeps Nassau government from having an honest conversation with citizens about the county’s budget problems. They don’t even work, as fee revenue often falls short of estimates, and politicians addicted to fees desperately grab for more.”

Reclaim New York Initiative has issued an Action Alert calling on citizens to demand County Legislators end illegal fees. The group’s Fight the Fees campaign engages citizens across the state to fight back against abuse of illegal fees.

The outrageous costs of Nassau’s illegal fees:

  • Nassau County’s 2018 budget proposal calls for $59 million in fee increases, which would bring the total cost of illegal fees in Nassau to over $153 million.
Agencies are rolling in ill-gotten gains:
  • The Assessment Department is projected to gross $55 million, even though their operating expenses only cost $10.3 million. That’s $44 million in illegal fees.
  • The County Clerk’s office is projected to collect $65.5 million in fee revenue, nearly 10 times its operating costs of $6.9 million. That’s $58.7 million in illegal fees.
  • Traffic and Parking Violations is projected to take in $65.9 million, though operating expenses total just $14.7 million. That’s $50 million in illegal fees.