Small Price to Pay

This  November, voters in Suffolk County will have the opportunity to vote on perhaps the most consequential referendum ever put on the ballot here.

The measure, if approved by the voters, will increase sales tax in the County from 8.625 percent to 8.75 percent, and the extra revenue will be dedicated to funding both sewage infrastructure and innovative/alternative septic systems for private homes. The additional cost to taxpayers is just one-eighth of a penny on each dollar spent on purchases that are subject to sales tax. To call it a small price to pay for clean water would be an understatement.

The biggest obstacle to getting Suffolk County homes and businesses off outdated septic systems and onto sewers and I/A systems that reduce nitrogen and contaminants in wastewater has been a consistent funding source. This sales tax, while negligible for consumers on individual purchases, will add up fast and open opportunities to replace aging cesspools with infrastructure that’s up to modern standards.

Clean water infrastructure will protect our drinking water while also protecting our economy and way of life on the East End – namely, our maritime industries and water-based recreation. It will also allow for more “wet uses” in our business districts, which means more restaurants to liven flagging downtowns. It will also enable affordable apartments above businesses…”