After announcing a series of reforms called the “Assessment Bill of Rights” earlier this summer, Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello and the Majority Caucus of the Nassau County Legislature are proud to announce the legislative passage of these bills to make the County Executive’s error riddled assessment process fairer and more transparent.
The measures were passed on a party-line vote.
The bills now go to the County Executive for her signature.
Early this month, the County Executive signed the first two bills included in the package, including a local law that compels the Department of Assessment to release of the algorithm used to calculate property values and a bill that mandates that the county send residents written notices of the county’s responses to tax grievances.
“The Assessment Bill of Rights include a package of measures developed to address residents’ concerns with the Reassessment process,” Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello said. “The bills will make the assessment process more open and transparent and will provide accountability to the office of the Assessor. Our job as elected officials is to make this process easy, straightforward and fair for the residents of this County. The Majority Caucus is prepared to do everything in our power to make that a reality.
This package of bills passed by the committees included:
1) Legislation forcing the Administration to send out new tax impact notices so that residents know exactly what they will pay with the new assessed values and the proposed five-year phase in.
2) Restrictions on unnecessarily intrusive property inspections by the Department of Assessment. When a resident contacts the county about an error in the records regarding their home, the Department of Assessment will no longer be able to condition an inspection of the specific characteristic at issue upon the homeowner’s consent to a full inspection of the entire house.
3) A limit on the ability of the County Executive to change the level of assessment. County Executives have repeatedly manipulated this fraction to avoid the New York State cap on assessment increases.
4) Legislation requiring the County Assessor to hold multiple hearings throughout the county, including, one in each town and city, to answer questions from residents. Up until the present, the County Assessor has refused to hold town hall forums to answer the residents’ concerns and questions.
5) A law requiring the County Assessor reside in Nassau County. This legislation is a reaction to the current Assessor, David Moog, who does not live within the County, and does not feel the effects of his decisions. This law will take effect on July 1, 2020 or upon the vacancy of the office by the current Assessor.
6) A law requiring the Department of Assessment dedicate a phone line for people to call in with questions or concerns, which phone line must have a live person answering the phone between the hours of 9 AM and 4:45 PM on days the county is open. Further, the Department must prepare a procedure for documenting the residents who call in.