July 27, 2009
The Nassau County Property Tax Assessment system is broken. The County Executive recently appointed a new Nassau County Property Tax Assessor who has never lived in Nassau County or paid real estate taxes in Nassau. I opposed this appointment because our residents are suffering now, and the property tax system should not be subject to on-the-job training. The county needs an Assessor with knowledge of the unique property values in Nassau who can fix the system now.
Regrettably, the new Tax Assessor has recently reported that the property assessment system for residential property is “fair and accurate.” Clearly, the residents of Nassau County cannot accept this report, as evidenced by the thousands of tax grievance challenges filed each and every year.
The new Tax Assessor is now blaming the broken system on the people and law firms who file grievances for erroneous property assessments. I find this to be outrageous. If the system were “fair and accurate” in the first place, then no one would have to file a grievance. A local newspaper recently noted a commercial property that was overassessed by the Assessor’s Office which took 8 years to correct and now requires the county to refund $449,000 plus interest to the owner. This is certainly not the fault of the person or attorney who filed the grievance, this is the fault of the broken and inaccurate assessment system.
The county borrows money to pay back tax refunds which reach $90 million to $100 million annually. This is because the assessment system is not “fair and accurate.” It’s broken! I will continue to fight for a system that works by making fair and accurate assessments which won’t require years to rectify. I shall also continue to advocate for a system that will freeze corrected assessments so taxpayers will not have to challenge the county’s assessment every year.
I encourage every taxpayer to continue to exercise your right to challenge your assessment if you believe it is erroneous.