The Curran Administration is proceeding with a plan to reassess every property in Nassau County. While I agree that the current system needs to be fixed, I strongly disagree with some of the actions that the Administration has taken to implement its plan.
First, upon the advice of her Assessor, David Moog, and contrary to an agreement with the Legislature, the County Executive has chosen to circumvent the New York State law that limits increases in assessed values to no more than 6% in a year. The Administration is doing this by changing the formula by which your tentative assessed value is determined.
The NYS assessment cap is an important protection in Nassau, especially since the county’s assessment expert estimates that more than 50,000 households will see tax increases of 25% or more and another 40,000 will see increases of 15% to 25%.
I believe that removal of the NYS cap is the wrong approach especially in light of the new limitation on the SALT (state and local tax) deduction, and rising interest rates. Hitting tens of thousands with large tax increases will be a burden for many, the last straw for some, and could have an effect on home values throughout Nassau.
The County Executive has indicated that she will seek state legislation to phase-in the tax increases. I would certainly support sensible and fair legislation to soften the blow from assessment increases. However, this legislation has not even been drafted and passage of a bill by the State Legislature is not guaranteed. The Assessor has admitted there is no “backup” plan if they cannot get state legislation for the phase-in.
Second, as reported by Newsday, the Administration deliberately sent out its assessed value notices with minimal information. The notices are confusing and tell taxpayers nothing about what the impact of the new assessed values will be on their taxes. Even worse, many taxpayers are seeing fair market value increases of 50%, 100%, or more, and are deeply distressed that their taxes will increase by a similar amount.
The fair market values in the Assessor’s notices do not really tell you what the impact will be on your taxes. Residents have a right to know what the tax impact will be. With this in mind, the Legislature unanimously passed a law that forces the Administration to send a second notice showing the tax impacts. You should be receiving this notice in late November or early December.
Lastly, constituents are reporting that there are numerous problems when they try to reach the Department of Assessment to get more information about the new assessed values. For months I have called on the Administration to create a comprehensive system that could accommodate the tens of thousands of residents looking for answers.
My colleagues and I in the Legislative Majority will continue to demand that the Administration make this process more transparent, including creating a user-friendly system that will allow taxpayers to get the answers they deserve. We will also continue to demand that the Administration restore the New York State 6% Assessment Cap.
Please visit my Facebook page or Legislative website to join my eteam for updates on the Administration’s Reassessment Plan.
As always, please feel free to call my office (516-571-6209) or email me with your thoughts or comments or if there are any matters in which I may be of assistance.
Richard J. Nicolello
Nassau County Legislator