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North Hempstead Notebook: Town Wins Suit, Online Petition And Parking

Happenings around the town.

North Hempstead taxpayers will no longer have to pay subsidies for students enrolled in baccalaureate or masters degree programs at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan. 

Current state education law dictates that a county can impose tuition charges onto its towns whose residents attend a community college. However, Nassau County tried to charge back the towns for residents enrolled in masters and baccalaureate programs, which are not covered under state law.

The Town of North Hempstead decided to sue the county after it backcharged $10,900 for each county resident enrolled in an FIT 4-year and graduate program.

“The court’s decision correctly relieves local taxpayers of this unfair and inequitable burden,” Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, in a press release. “I am also pleased that the benefits of this victory can be shared by all the residents of the towns and cities in Nassau County, that is if the county joins our suit instead of opposing us every step of the way.”

According to the town, the cost to North Hempstead taxpayers would have been $1.17 million just for 2010.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Parga issued the ruling this week. 

Martins sets up online petition to repeal MTA Payroll Tax

State established an , in an effort to boost Long Island’s economy. Businesses, school districts, local governments, hospitals and non-profits all pay the tax, which Martins says is burdensome.

The senate passed a bill, co-sponsored by Martins, in the last legislative session to phase out the tax. And while the bill had bi-partisan support, the Assembly did not bring it to a vote. Now Long Island senators aim to show “the Assembly leadership that there is overwhelming support to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax when session resumes in January,” according to a press release.

Access the petition by visiting Martins' website. 

More Parking in Port Washington

The Town of North Hempstead recently opened two new parking lots in Port Washington.

Located on South Bayles Avenue and on the corner of Jackson Avenue and Main Street, the lots are intended to add convenience for both commuters and shoppers alike. Residents and business owners in Port Washington have long complained 

Linda August 22, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Okay, what am I missing? I read the court's order on the New York State Courts' web site and it sure looks like the County, not the Town, won the FIT litigation. I also see the Town's press release on the Town's web site. It appears to me that the Town misread the court's decision. How about some good old fashioned journalism in getting to the bottom of this?
FREESPEECH August 22, 2011 at 02:53 PM
This Is what you are missing. Before the lawsuit, north Hempstead taxpayers were on the hook for 1.17 million dollars to pay for town residents attending FIT. Nassau County, which opted to pass that expense along to the town (Suffolk and westchester do not bill their towns), had to pay zero dollars toward that expense. After the lawsuit, north Hempstead has tp pay significantly less, and Nassau has to pay a lot where it was paying zero. Thus, the win, Now, if the county is smart, it will use this precedent to argue that FIT cannot charge it for these expenses, just like Suffolk is about to do.
Linda August 22, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Thanks for the clarification Gaby. As I read the decision, the Town is still liable to pay the Country for tuition costs of students attending the two-year programs at FIT but not the BA or master's programs. But, the Town argued that FIT is not a community college and that it didn't have to pay anything. The court held that FIT is a community college and that TONH has to pay for some students. The Town doesn't get back the 1.17 million it was suing for; the County will get to keep a portion of it yet to be determined. So, this might be viewed as a partial victory (or partial loss) for both sides. I think the Town is being disingenous in calling it a victory. That said, the law requiring counties to pay other counties for the cost of their residents attending other counties' community colleges seems really weird to me. My taxes as a Nassau County resident (or TONH resident) support a perfectly fine community college. If my neighbor's child decides to attend FIT or Suffolk CC, I have no say but I have to pay for it? Weird.
FREESPEECH August 22, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Well won't try to convince you otherwise, but when the towns budget expenses go down significantly, that's a win. And when the countys budget gap increased by another four million or so because now it has to pay for something it didn't before, that's a loss.

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