As part of his efforts to completely reform the broken, costly property tax assessment system in Nassau, County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that the Department of Assessment (DOA) issued home and business owners their 2012-13 tax roll disclosure notice, which for the first time ever assigns properties the lowest possible assessed values while also utilizing assessed values that were the result of a successful grievance or court-ordered judgment within the last two years. Taking these reductions into account is an important departure from the past dysfunctional practice of wholly disregarding successful grievances previously won by property owners when setting their assessments. This 2012-13 tax roll will be utilized for four-years, with annual improvements made by the DOA.
“We inherited an assessment system that was dysfunctional in every way,” said Mangano. “For the first time ever, Nassau’s tax roll will reflect the justice residents received through the grievance process. This is an important step in the total transformation of the broken property tax assessment system that has pushed Nassau County into fiscal instability. This reform alone stops the assessment sham of making the same error each year.”
County Executive Mangano’s reforms ensure that properties are assigned the lowest of one of the following possible assessed values for the 2012-13 tax roll (adjusted for any physical improvements that may have been made to the property since the last assessment):
“The lowest possible value was chosen because of our commitment to keep the assessments at a reasonable level that is fair and equitable to all property owners,” said Gregory Hild, Chairman of the Department of Assessment’s Transition Team. “We recognize that, due to the national economic collapse that began in the third quarter of 2008, the real estate market in Nassau County for both residential and commercial properties has experienced a significant downturn. County Executive Mangano is committed to stopping the cycle of erroneous refunds that waste over $250 million annually of taxpayer’s hard-earned money.”
Although we have made significant improvements to the assessment system, we must remember that it has been dysfunctional for over a decade. Although the DOA staff worked hard to enter all settlements, the computer system is inaccurate and unaccountable. That is why County Executive Mangano reminds property owners to carefully review their tentative assessment for the 2012-13 tax roll and to let DOA know if corrections were not made. If the DOA hasn’t assigned the lowest value, property owners must simply call DOA at (516) 571-1500 to have it fixed over the phone. The County Executive also reminds all property owners to file a timely challenge with ARC by March 1, 2011 if they disagree with Department of Assessment’s valuation. ARC is an independent tribunal dedicated to making accurate determinations on appeals for reduction of assessments. Below are dates to remember:
County Executive Mangano has made reforming Nassau’s property tax assessment system a top priority. This broken tax system costs the average home and business owners 10% more annually on their County property tax bill and has resulted in $1.6 billion in debt and outstanding liabilities owed by Nassau County taxpayers. In early 2010, the Legislature passed the County Executive’s reforms to ensure the County begins correcting assessment errors before demanding payment. Mangano also signed an Executive Order providing certainty to homeowners and businesses by moving Nassau County from an annual to a four-year cyclical assessment system. This new system will allow the County Executive to begin reducing the $100+ million in annual errors.
In October 2010, the Legislature passed Mangano's plan to eliminate the County Guarantee, which requires schools and towns that receive tax dollars in error, to pay back those tax dollars. This plan does not take effect until 2013, thereby allowing over two years for the reforms passed earlier this year to take effect and reduce liability for all. In December 2010, ARC moved under the same roof as the County DOA to improve communications and provide a more convenient and efficient location for taxpayers looking to question their property tax assessments. Each step Mangano has taken plays an important role in addressing the broken property tax assessment system.