Suffolk County Legislature Shows No Remorse for Robbing Residents Blind
Suffolk County legislators are knowingly robbing citizens of their hard-earned money by imposing illegal fees. Instead of addressing budgetary issues with real reform, legislators have turned to highway robbery and illegally passed the bill to taxpayers.
State law says all service-related fees must be designated towards covering the cost of that service alone. Instead, Suffolk County is collecting over $70 million in illegal revenue from tax map verification fees and transferring it to the government’s general fund.
If the fees were proportionate to the cost of providing the service, they would be $2 per parcel and $3 per mortgage. Instead, fees are 100 times that at $200 and $300.
In 2015 and 2016, Suffolk County passed legislation imposing these unauthorized taxes they labeled “fees” in attempts to fund gaps in the budget. The reality is, these predatory fees will not solve Suffolk’s broken budgetary issues.
Year after year, the County’s expenses exceed its ability to pay. This only keeps legislators scrambling to fill budget gaps through more illegal fee increases, placing the burden solely on taxpayers. The fees hurt those who can least afford it, punishing families who need to take out a second mortgage or home equity loan.
The county legislature undeniably knew they were breaking the law by raising these fees, yet chose to do so anyways. The legislature’s counsel explicitly advised the legislature not to use fees to close budget gaps, and lawmakers intentionally buried the fees in closing costs for mortgages, hoping no one would notice.
It’s time Suffolk County does the hard work of addressing its budget problems instead of trying to band aid them with illegal fees.
Suffolk needs your help to fight these illegal fees today!
Here’s What You Can Do:
1. Attend the public hearing on October 2 to make your voice heard.
2. Use #FightTheFees on social media.
3. Sign up on the form below for a #FightTheFees lawn sign, and let us know if you can attend the hearing on Oct 2: