April 2, 2007

Legislator Denise Ford

Legislator Ford Introduces Legislation to FREEZE Reassessment

At a press conference held on March 29, 2007, Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford and all of the Nassau County Republican Legislators introduced a new law to place a 5- year freeze on property tax reassessment. The residents of Nassau County have been suffering devastating increases in property taxes since the annual reassessment of the fair market value of all homes began in 2003. “We are watching our young people and senior residents leave Long Island. Our families are being torn apart because no one can afford to remain here or start a life here due to the exorbitant costs of living on Long Island - and a big part of that is runaway property taxes,” says Legislator Ford.

In response to this issue, the Republican County Legislators are introducing a new law to bring some predictability back to our households. The Republicans are acting now because the 3 year court-ordered annual reassessment period is over. The County is no longer obligated by law to reassess your home annually.

“The current taxing scheme is so complex that few people can even understand their general tax levy. We’ve seen increases in property taxes of up to 300% for some of our residents. How much more can our homeowners take?” said Legislator Ford.

This law, introduced Thursday, calls for a 5 year freeze on increases in assessed value of all property in Nassau County. The new law requires that during the 5 year freeze, there will be no increase in the assessed value of any residential property in Nassau County. The current 2007 assessed value shall be frozen until 2013. During this period, homeowners’ assessed valuation cannot increase, but there will be 3 ways to decrease it - 1) The assessed value can decrease if the county’s ongoing appraisals reflect a decrease in fair market value of the property. 2)All owners may still challenge their assessed value through a tax certiorari proceeding. 3) If a property is sold at a price lower than the value placed on the property by the Assessor, the lower amount shall become the new assessed value (arms length transactions).

If the assessed value goes down because of any of these three ways, then the new lower value becomes the new cap for the remainder of the 5 year freeze. “This law will benefit all homeowners in Nassau County. The result is that homeowners can gain a sense of confidence and predictability in their tax bills by eliminating yearly reassessments and unpredictable increases, and we can make household budgets easier to control and anticipate,” says Legislator Ford.

Under this new legislation, the only way that property taxes can be increased during the next 5 years would be if the County Executive or local taxing jurisdictions raise their tax rates. Increases in property taxes can no longer be attributable to reassessment.

The Republican Legislators are working to stop runaway taxes, bring predictability to household budgets and stop our young people and seniors from leaving Long Island.