Curran unveils revised plan for $375 relief payments

Robert Pelaez
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran presented revised plans for eligible homeowners to receive direct payments of coronavirus relief aid to the legislature last week. (Photo courtesy of the county executive's office)

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has submitted a revised plan that would provide eligible homeowners throughout the county with direct cash payments of $375 to spur the economic recovery.

Curran presented modified plans to the Republican-controlled Legislature Friday that would send the one-time payments to households with a total income of up to $168,900, a revision from initial plans to dispense payments to households with a total income no larger than $500,000.

The relief, Curran said in a release Monday, will benefit upwards of 400,000 eligible households. The proposed initiative, which still requires legislative approval, will use $100 million in funds the county received from the American Rescue Plan.

“As we continue to recover from the pandemic, Nassau County is committed to delivering relief for our residents and businesses,” Curran said. “I believe this assistance will not only help those who continue to struggle, but also provide a boost to our local economy.”

Households with a total income no greater than $500,000 that have proof of suffering a negative economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic will also be eligible for the payment, Curran said. Documents such as receipts of unemployment benefits, food or housing insecurity, increased child-care expenses, coronavirus-related death expenses or unreimbursed remote work/learning expenses can be submitted through the Boost Nassau online portal.

The payments will only be sent to homeowners who already receive the state’s STAR or enhanced STAR exemptions, officials announced.

Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) said that the Republican majority “will do its due diligence to make sure taxpayers are protected.”

Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman, a Republican running against Curran for the county executive seat this year, told Newsday that his efforts to ease the tax burden for county homeowners will be more successful than Curran’s.

“I’m the only candidate for county executive who has a real plan for recurring taxpayer relief, and it starts with the rollback of Laura Curran’s massive $9 million in tax hikes contained in her current budget,” Blakeman said in a statement.

Efforts to reach the Blakeman campaign for further comment were unavailing.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed his support for Curran’s proposal to directly provide Nassau homeowners with some of the $385 million in total funding for the county he helped secure.

“I worked tirelessly to secure billions in aid in the American Rescue Plan for New York and its localities – including over $385 million for Nassau County – and I’m glad that County Executive Curran has created a Household Assistance Program to put some of these funds back in the pockets of Nassau County residents who have experienced hardship throughout the pandemic,” Schumer said.

Officials said the county, which received $193 million in May from the American Rescue Plan, will be given an additional $192 million next year.

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) said the proposal will put necessary funding into the hands of homeowners at a time when it is severely needed.

“The county’s Household Assistance Program will put this money directly into the pockets of Nassau’s renters and homeowners, helping families pay their bills and boosting our local economy,” Rice said.

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