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DAN'S PAPERS, February 22, 2008 Page 24 www.danshamptons.com

Sue

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Levy has reportedly called the lawsuit “ill advised.” The crux of the issue, to be decided by the courts is: How much authority does Levy have to interpret the detailed application of the 3/8 of one percent of the county sales tax? In a phone interview, Schneiderman stated that Levy was not following the statute. The talk of lack of flexibility in Levy’s position has led to the current state of affairs, as County legislators — as well as the Village of East Hampton and the Village of Southampton — are suing Levy to resolve the problem. Schneiderman used the phrase “shortchanged,” more than once when talking about the revenue allotted to East End towns. Repeated calls to Levy’s office were not returned. Schneiderman also explained that, although he has worked successfully with Levy on many issues, this one is different. He doesn’t truly understand Levy’s reasoning, since the law itself states exactly how the funds are to be dispersed. The case, filed in State Supreme Court, names Suffolk County, The Suffolk County Executive and the County Legislature as

defendants. The filing requests that the court examine the present funding and rule in favor of returning to the formula set forth in the County Charter. In effect, the suit is seeking that the County’s 2008 operating budget be amended to reflect the per-capita distribution of sales tax revenue as defined in the County charter. Schneiderman believes that almost $3.5 million should be distributed to the five East End towns and 15 villages for fiscal 2008 alone. Confident that he has the letter and

spirit of the law behind his position, Schneiderman expressed that the resolution to this conflict has come down to a lawsuit, as radical as that strategy may seem. The attention this case has received is of concern to Schneiderman, who wishes a more practical solution could have been reached without going to court. He believes that Lindsay’s proposed legislation is pouring gasoline onto the fire instead of taking a more reasonable approach. In an email, Schneiderman wrote, “By trying to dismantle this provision, the Legislature would be undoing the agreement that allowed the County to begin using sales tax revenues to offset property taxes within the police district. The County has been acting like a schoolyard bully, taking away some kid’s lunch money.” He added, “Towns and villages depend on these legallymandated funds to provide police protection. It’s wrong, and now some want to make it permanent.” The lawsuit is currently in the state court awaiting a hearing date.

Dan;s Papers Feb. 22, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan;s Papers Feb. 22, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

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