Legislator Nicolello has worked to hold the line on taxes and to find new and creative ways to reduce government spending.
Holding the Line on Taxes while Restoring Nassau's Finances
Nassau County residents pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. When you include local, state and federal taxes, the high cost of utilities, and the overall high cost of living, working families, seniors, young people and small business owners often struggle to make ends meet.Recognizing these Realities, Legislator Nicolello and his colleagues in the Republican Majority have achieved the following:
- Passed budgets that froze property taxes for county services in six of the last seven years. The county’s share of the average property tax bill has gone from 19% to 16% of the total bill.
- Since taking the Majority in 2010, the Republican Majority has reduced the structural deficit from by $131 million. That is a 71% reduction, while freezing county taxes in 6 of last 7 years.
- Rich and the Republican Majority have increased the county’s fund balance (rainy day fund) from $68.5 million to more than $200 million since 2010. Again, this was accomplished while freezing county taxes in 6 of last 7 years.
- Cut the average annual spending increase from 4.4% under the Democrats to.07%. This cut in the rate of county spending has saved over $800 million since 2010.
Common Sense Reforms to County Government
Rich and the Republican Majority have taken action to fight corruption and protect taxpayers by instituting sweeping reforms in county government. These reforms make Nassau among the most transparent local governments in the state. This includes:
- Comprehensive reform of the county’s Code of Ethics.
- Strict disclosure requirements for contractors and consultants doing business with the county.
- Mandatory political contribution and lobbyist disclosure requirements.
- Expanded Legislative oversight of all contracts worth over $1000.
- Barring convicted felons from running for or holding county office.
- Increased financial and staffing resources for the Commissioner of Investigations, Contract Compliance Director and Board of Ethics.
Keeping our Streets and Neighborhoods Safe
Legislator Nicolello has worked with Nassau County Police Department to maintain Nassau’s status as the safest large suburban county in America. Since 2009, overall crime has been reduced by 27%. In 2016, Nassau County’s crime rate was the lowest it has been since they started keeping statistics in 1966.
Rich Nicolello has supported a variety of initiatives that help account for the success enjoyed by our police, including:
- A well trained police force that works cooperatively with Nassau County’s elected officials.
- Proactive and aggressive policing of gang activity designed to attack gang activity before it endangers public safety.
- Intelligence led policing models that ensure resources are deployed strategically for maximum effect.
- Investments in state of the art technology. Legislator Nicolello has supported investment in computers and enhanced communication equipment in patrol vehicles, and shotspotter technology capable of detecting and pinpointing locations of gunfire.
Achieving Savings in New, Innovative Ways
Rich Nicolello has supported money-saving initiatives including consolidating departments, and entering public-private partnerships. Rich supported initiatives to:
- Partner with United Water to operate the county’s sewer plants to save taxpayers millions annually.
- Streamline the Nassau County Police Department to eliminate duplicate administrative positions, saving the county millions annually.
- Implement an innovative reform of the commercial assessment system, which will save the county $80 million annually by ending the payment of commercial refunds.
- Reduce of the size of the county labor force by 22% (2081 fewer employees), including a steep cut in patronage positions.
- Partner with a private entity to operate NICE bus, saving the county $33 million annually on the system formerly operated by the MTA.
Working for our Neighborhoods and Residents
Rich has worked hard to maintain the communities of the 9th Legislative District and the quality of life of the residents. Among other things, Legislator Nicolello has:
- Obtained county grants totaling more than $1,800,000 for community revitalization projects for 9th L.D. communities.
- Worked with our volunteer firefighters to maintain adequate local coverage by county ambulances and to fund renovation of the Nassau Fire Academy in order to ensure that our firefighters have the best available training.
- Worked with our state and local elected officials, schools, civic associations, senior groups and local business organizations on a daily basis to solve problems and get results from government. Whether its repaving roads, obtaining traffic signals for dangerous intersections, or beautifying recharge basins, Legislator Nicolello is eager to get involved and make government work for us.
Preserving Long Island’s Precious Natural Resources
Rich Nicolello has a strong record of preserving and protecting our environment. As Legislator, Rich has:
- Cosponsored the first-ever Nassau County Master Plan and Open Space Plan.
- Cosponsored laws that established Nassau’s Environmental Bond Program, authorizing $150 million in funds for preserving open space, enhancing recreational activities, improving storm water management and protecting our precious environmental resources.
- Cosponsored a law that requires 5% of proceeds from the sale of county land be dedicated to purchase of open space.
- Cosponsored a law creating the Long Island Committee on Aquifer Protection for water suppliers in Nassau and Suffolk to coordinate efforts to preserve Long Island’s supply of drinking water.
- Voted for initiatives to obtain federal and state funding for massive upgrades to Nassau’s sewage treatment plants after Superstorm Sandy. These upgrades will improve the operation of the plants, protect the plants from future storms and reduce nitrogen in local bays.