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Nassau County Legislature

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Democratic Caucus: Mangano's Wrong Way Assessment Plan Threatens Small Business Owners

The Nassau County Legislature’s Democratic Caucus rallied on May 24, 2010, with commercial property owners, County Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement District members and several prominent Nassau business leaders to protest the Mangano Administration’s proposed assessment reform plan.

Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove) said, “During the public hearing at our last session, the Legislature learned that the volunteer efforts by the members of the Assessment Reform Team (ART) were circumvented by the County Executive, the person who appointed them. The County Executive’s proposed assessment reform plan threatens the backbone of Nassau County’s business community. In particular, it intimidates small business owners from filing a tax grievance which has always been their right. The misguided plan burdens those who do file grievances with complicated, unnecessary paperwork and appraisal fees. I am afraid that his plan only reinforces the ongoing problem and offers no real solution. The County Executive has said assessment reform is a cornerstone of his financial recovery plan. This proposed solution hurts small business. It seems to me that his plan is a millstone, not a cornerstone”

Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) said, “The administration’s so-called assessment reform plan is simply a return trip to the failed fiscal policies which nearly bankrupted Nassau County ten years ago. The key to solving the problem of the county's refund liability is not borrowing to pay it or forcing commercial businesses to provide information already required. It is to ensure the assessment review commission reviews each challenge within the 14 month period before the tentative roll becomes final. My law will do that and it is. A real solution doesn’t hurt homeowners and treats small business owners fairly. The Mangano Plan only makes the assessment problem worse.”

The press conference was held in response to criticism leveled at the administration's assessment plan during a public hearing at the County’s Legislative Chambers last Monday evaluating the proposed plan. At the hearing several members of the Mangano administration's hand-picked Assessment Review Team spoke in strong opposition to his assessment changes. Several real estate industry professionals criticized the plan as "an assault on small business" and that it "simply fortifies the current incompetence."