Nassau County Pays an Unprecedented $150 Million of Tax Cert Debt
Refunding 11,845 Property Owners from Settlements Dating Back Over a Decade
(Mineola, NY) - Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced today that the County has paid an unprecedented $150 million of its tax certiorari liability, paying back property owners that were due tax refunds from settlements on their assessed values, some dating back over a decade. This feat is a result of a comprehensive financial strategy to eliminate the over $300 million in tax cert liability inherited from the Mangano Administration. As part of the strategy, the County borrowed $100 million dollars in the public capital markets to pay a significant portion of refunds from these old settlements.
Approximately 5,807 Nassau County commercial property owners will be receiving refunds from previously resolved settlements totaling over $123 million and more than 6,038 of Nassau’s residential property owners will be receiving approximately $27 million in refunds in the coming weeks.
“The prior administration never had a plan to address this mounting debt accumulating from the broken assessment system – only a plan to ignore it. This is money the County has owed to thousands of residents and businesses that our County’s economy depends on, including our cherished Main Street mom and pop shops, for far too long,” said Nassau County Executive Curran. “This was a tremendous effort and coordination by our County Attorney, County Treasurer, Office of Management and Budget, the Assessment Review Commission and their hard-working teams. I congratulate you on an outstanding job.”
“It’s been well documented that the previous administration amassed over $300 million dollars of debt from unpaid judgments that were owed to local taxpayers including commercial business owners. This administration took the bull by the horns to tackle this issue and has made a significant dent in the back log, paying back $123 million to commercial property owners that were over-assessed,” said Laureen Harris, Esq. partner of Cronin, Cronin, Harris & O’Brien, specializing in tax certiorari and condemnation and president of the Association for a Better Long Island.
“These taxpayers were forced to overpay their taxes for years while their tax assessment challenges were pending. Then, after their case was settled with Nassau County and it was agreed that a refund would be made, they waited for many more years for the County to pay the refund. This is progress that I hope continues,” John V. Terrana, chair of the tax certiorari practice group at Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP stated.
The Curran Administration took full advantage of the resources and opportunities supported by the Nassau County Legislature and NIFA, both of which approved the borrowing of $100 Million. The County also allocated funds including $30 million from the County’s general fund and $20 million in Disputed Assessment Funds for this initiative.
“I continue to take on the most difficult challenges to restore fiscal integrity to our County and ultimately achieve financial independence,” said Curran.