Action Alert: Tell Suffolk County Legislators to Sign the Discharge Petition
Suffolk County is gouging residents with illegal fees. Lawmakers are overcharging citizens for the cost of services in a desperate attempt to patch the county’s busted budget. In fact, Suffolk County is collecting over $70 million from these fees.
The worst example is the tax map verification fee. The county is charging $500 for verifying a resident’s parcel of land and recording their mortgage. The actual cost of this service is $5.
Suffolk residents must speak out against these predatory fees and demand transparency. It’s time for Suffolk County to protect citizens and pass legislation to prevent future illegal fees.
Here’s What You Need To Know:
1. These fees are illegal taxes. Under state law, fees cannot be more than the cost of specific services. Any surplus money passed to a government’s general fund is an illegal tax because only the state legislature can authorize a tax. The Suffolk County Legislature is charging an illegal tax to generate revenue.
2. Suffolk County legislators know these fees are illegal. The County Legislature was advised by its own lawyer not to use fees to close budget gaps. But in 2015 and 2016, Suffolk County passed legislation to impose illegal fees.
3. Legislators can prevent future illegal fees. Transparency protects taxpayers. New legislation would require the county to disclose the true cost of services. In addition, the bill would prevent the county from transferring fee revenue to the general fund.
Here’s What You Can Do:
1. Call Legislators Sarah Anker (631-854-1600), Al Krupski (631-852-3200), William Spencer (631-854-4500), and William Lindsay (631-854-9611). Let them know that you support the discharge petition to let the full County Legislature vote on Legislator Robert Trotta’s bill to fight the fees. Tell them they must sign the discharge petition and pass this bill.
2. Use #FightTheFees on social media.