(MINEOLA, N.Y.) - For nearly three weeks, Nassau County has been without a duly appointed Assessor - and that could wreak havoc upon taxpayers as the Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing period begins on May 1.
In an April 19 letter to County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé (D - Freeport) noted that Acting Assessor Robin Laveman’s six-month term ended on Monday, April 11. However, she continues to work as Acting Assessor without Legislative approval - a violation of the Nassau County Charter that could “specifically jeopardize the County’s ability to correct assessment errors and deliver refunds to taxpayers who have been over-assessed,” Legislator Mulé wrote.
According to Section 601 of the Nassau County Charter, “[n]o individual shall serve as acting assessor for a period longer than six months without confirmation by the County Legislature…[h]owever, upon approval of the County Legislature, this six-month period may be extended by one additional six-month period.”
As of Thursday, April 28, Legislator Mulé has not received a response from the Blakeman administration addressing her concerns, and no action has been taken in the Legislature to re-appoint Ms. Laveman or name any other individual as Assessor or Acting Assessor. While the administration had an opportunity to request that the Legislature take emergency action during its April 25 meeting to rectify this issue, they failed to do so.
Legislator Mulé further criticized the Blakeman administration for not revealing the identity or qualifications of the incoming assessor or acting assessor, and for failing to reveal details of a reassessment plan that was mentioned in the State of the County address on April 11, 2022 - coincidentally, the same date that Ms. Laveman’s six-month term expired.
“Before this situation degrades any further, we urge you to ‘right the ship’ before it is too late and the taxpayers we are all entrusted with serving are harmed. Accordingly, we urge you to immediately put forth your plan regarding the assessor and the ‘reassessment’ plan. Until this occurs, we will continue to fight for the residents of this County and the transparency they deserve,” Legislator Mulé concluded.