Legislature Holds Second Hearing On County Executive Curran’s Property Tax Reassessment
The Nassau County Legislature held a second hearing on March 18th on the topic of County Executive Laura Curran’s Property Tax Reassessment. Members of the County Legislature peppered the County Assessor with questions about the assessment process and the so called “Taxpayer Protection Plan” submitted by the County Executive and supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Assessor handed off the explanation of the “Taxpayer Protection Plan” to the County Attorney and the lobbyist hired by the County Executive to shepherd her plan through the State Legislature.
The legislators directly questioned County Assessor David Moog on the Reassessment process that seems to the public to be flawed, rushed and lacking in transparency.
The questioning brought out several new admissions by the Administration, including the fact that many of the increased assessments were not defensible. Moreover, the Assessor was advised several times by a member of the County Attorney’s office not to answer questions from both Legislators and members of the public, leaving the Legislators and members of the public to wonder aloud, “why not?”
Other startling revelations included
- the refusal of the Assessor and the Administration to release to the public the computer formula used to fix assessed values, in violation of the Freedom of Information Act;
- The decision on the part of the Assessor’s office to require a full basement to roof inspection as a condition to correcting minor, obvious errors;
- The computer software used to calculate assessed value was out of date; and
- The use of a neighborhood factor caused many increases.
“The poor defense of this process and the failure to adequately defend the so-called Curran ‘Taxpayer Protection Plan’ is one more reason why we need an elected Assessor,” concluded PO Rich Nicolello.