Caught on Tape! Supervisor Laura Gillen Takes Credit for Tax Cut she Voted Against - Clavin Calls Supervisor a "Stranger to the Truth"

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen has apparently misled the public about cutting Hempstead Town taxes and has now gotten caught.  The embarrassing misrepresentations of the truth have been caught on tape, photograph, on Facebook and most recently in a campaign mailing.  In specific, the Supervisor announced, “I VOTE NO” on the 2019 tax cut budget that was approved by every other member of the town board, both Republican and Democrat.  However, the Supervisor was recently caught on tape taking credit for the town’s tax cut, which was adopted over her objections.  And, Laura Gillen also took personal credit for cutting Hempstead’s taxes, despite her ‘NO’ vote, in a contentious Facebook post.  What’s more, a photograph captured the Supervisor’s tax-cutting misrepresentations yet again, as a display behind the Supervisor laid claim to slashing the very same taxes on which she voted “NO.”  Finally, Laura Gillen has just mailed a campaign letter in support of her re-election, claiming, “we’re lowering taxes.”  At a press event decrying Gillen’s alternative truth, Clavin was joined by his Republican running mates and other members of the Hempstead Town Board. 

“It was disappointing when the Supervisor said, ‘I VOTE NO’ on the 2019 Hempstead Town Tax Cut Budget,” said Clavin.  “Adding insult to injury, Supervisor Laura Gillen is trying to take credit for the very same tax cut budget that she voted against.  Supervisor Laura Gillen is a stranger to the truth.”

One of the most recent attempts at revisionist tax cut history on the part of Supervisor Gillen came in the form of a testy exchange on Facebook.  In a July 12, 2019 post, an individual stated, “…LOWER OUR PROPERTY TAXES.”  In response, Gillen posted, “I already did.”  And, hot off the press, the Gillen campaign just mailed a letter to voters in which she announced, “we’re lowering taxes.” 

Clavin took issue with Gillen’s tax cut claim, stating, “It was absolutely untrue and unethical for Laura Gillen to tell an individual on Facebook, ‘I already did’ in response to that person’s online request for the Supervisor to lower property taxes,” stated Clavin.  “The record is clear and irrefutable.  Laura Gillen voted against lowering taxes on October 30, 2018 while every other member of the Hempstead Town Board, including her Democrat colleague, Dorothy Goosby, voted ‘YES’ to cutting taxes.  She owes voters an explanation on why she said ‘NO’ to tax cuts and then tried to mislead the public on her record.”

“As a police officer and a parent, I always emphasize the importance of being truthful and owning up to your actions, even if it’s unpopular,” stated Christopher Carini, the Republican Candidate for the 5thCouncilmanic District. “My friends received Laura Gillen’s campaign mailing this weekend, which included the fantastic, not to mention untrue, claim that she lowered taxes…that’s just sad,” added Councilman Tom Muscarella.

Repeating the “alternative truth” on her tax record, the Supervisor attempted to take credit for the tax cut which was passed over her objections.  Indeed, while speaking at a July 15th press conference on SALT with U.S. Senator Schumer, Gillen can be heard saying on an audio tape, “…the Town of Hempstead cut taxes by approximately 3.5 percent this year…”  Again, the Supervisor attempted to share in the credit for the tax cut which she attempted to nix.

“Taxpayers deserve better than dishonesty on top of a proposed tax hike,” stated Jeanine Driscoll, Republican candidate for Receiver of Taxes.  “Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to elected officials and their interaction with the public…this is just disgraceful,” added Kate Murray, Republican candidate for Hempstead Town Clerk.

Finally, Clavin displayed a photographic image of Supervisor Gillen at a Community Forum that she held at the Garden City Library on February 25, 2019.  While the Supervisor discussed the township’s fiscal condition, the “power point” image that accompanied her speech displayed her talking points.  One of the points announced, “Oversaw a non-election tax cut.”  

 “It’s sad that the Supervisor would continue this ongoing charade, trying to hide her record of opposing tax cuts,” announced Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. “The Supervisor hasn’t only opposed tax cuts, she even proposed hiking taxes for 2019,” added Councilman Bruce Blakeman.

 A “fact check” of the Supervisor’s record on taxes reveals that she not only voted “NO” on tax cuts, but also attempted to hike Hempstead Town residents’ property taxes for 2019.  The Supervisor’s proposed 2019 budget, which was filed with the town clerk on September 28, 2018, called for $275.2 million in property taxes, up from the $273.2 million figure for 2018.  Additionally, Newsday reported in a July 23, 2019 article that the Supervisor voted against the 2019 tax cut.  But, the most incriminating evidence regarding the Supervisor’s opposition to tax cuts could be seen in a video tape of the October 30, 2018 Town Board Meeting. In the video tape, Supervisor Laura Gillen can be heard proclaiming, “I VOTE NO,” when asked to cast her vote on the Town Board’s adopted tax cut budget.

“It’s bad enough that Laura Gillen would vote against a tax cut budget in a time when people need property tax relief,” concluded Clavin.  “Worse yet, are the Supervisor’s efforts to take credit for the town’s tax cut budget, which she voted against.  It’s just plain dishonest and wrong.  What’s more, she is clearly a ‘stranger to the truth’ when you consider that she actually proposed a tax hike for 2019.  Nassau homeowners deserve an apology and an explanation.  Taxpayers deserve better.”

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Don Clavin