Town & County: County taxes steady

Suffolk County residents will pay more to use county parks next year, but county property taxes will hold the line in 2011 for the seventh consecutive year.

The Suffolk County Legislature voted 12-5 Tuesday to override the bulk of County Executive Steve Levy’s vetoes to its spending plan, restoring about $800,000 to the county through park fee increases and pushing the start date of the police academy’s six-month program from March to September.

But the Legislature failed to override Mr. Levy’s veto to fund the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility in Yaphank. The nursing home costs the county about $4 million a year, officials said.

Through the Legislature’s approval, Mr. Levy’s proposed $2.7 billion spending plan still includes $12 million in projected revenue from the sale of county-owned land — an industrial-zoned 95-acre section in Yaphank where the controversial Legacy Village project would be built.

Last month, county Legislators Kate Browning and Ed Romaine protested the projected revenue and called it “phantom revenue.”

Mr. Romaine said he’s committed to revisit the budget — particularly to reverse the park fee hikes.

“In these tough economic times, raising park fees is counter-intuitive,” Mr. Romaine said.