Another creative way to raise suburban tax revenue: a “toilet tax”

Nassau County, New York is considering a new tax that will bring in revenue from non-profit organizations:

Critics call the sewer fee — a “toilet tax” in Nassau County. Next year’s budget — for the first time — calls for previously tax-exempt public school districts, library districts and fire districts to increase their budgets, raise taxes, and, they fear, pass along the financial burden to taxpayers.

Democrats in the legislature are blasting the Republican county executive’s proposed “water usage fee”– that would charge one penny per gallon of water entering Nassau’s sewage system. They claim it would bankrupt hospitals, schools and more…

But the county executive said his sewer reforms would eventually lower rates for homeowners and businesses.

“I inherited a sewer district authority that’s $28 million out of balance. Nowhere else in New York state do not-for-profits get a free ride,” County Executive Ed Mangano said.

Even in the best of times, suburban communities may not enjoy the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations. But with less favorable economic times, it is likely more communities will be looking for new revenue sources.

Although it sounds like this discussion may have just become another political issue (one party versus the other in Nassau County), these sorts of discussions will be taking place in many more suburbs across the country.

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