August 7, 2009
Legislator Becker Calls for Investigation into Assessment System
Dear Presiding Officer Yatauro,
The Government Services Committee, chaired by Legislator Wayne Wink and of which I am a member, held a hearing on July 30th on the Department of Assessment and the assessment system here in Nassau County. Ted Jankowski, our newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Assessors, gave testimony that the current data in the assessment system is bad, the people in his department are not properly trained and the system is not integrated so as to function properly. In addition, the department is unable to focus the attention necessary to assess the county’s commercial properties. As you know, the county will once again refund this year close to 100 million dollars because of our broken assessment system, of which almost 80% is refunded to commercial property owners.
This is a scandal and I ask you as Presiding Officer of the Legislature to call for an immediate investigation. The county has spent 40 to 50 million dollars since 2003 reassessing its residential and commercial properties. An investigation by the legislature should be done to uncover why after six years and tens of millions of dollars, the assessment system remains broken. Where did the money go? Why didn’t the county get what it paid for by the various vendors contracted to reassess the county?
Your immediate reply is requested.
Francis X. Becker, Jr.
Sixth Legislative District