LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS DEFEAT
ELECTED ASSESSOR PROPOSAL
COUNTY EXECUTIVE/ LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS
REFUSE TO ALLOW PUBLIC TO VOTE ON ISSUE
Mineola, New York – Earlier this year, the Nassau County Legislative Majority filed a bill to make the county assessor an elected position, rather an a politically appointed one. After the Legislature passed the bill the county executive vetoed it.
Today, the Legislature held a vote to override the county executive’s veto, but the override failed, as every member of the Democratic Caucus chose to side with the county executive.
The local law would have created a referendum to give residents the option to choose whether the position of assessor should be an elected position or political appointment. The county executive and Legislative Democrats refused to give the public that choice.
The renewed call for an elected assessor began this January, when the county executive nominated Robin S. Laveman to be the new assessor of Nassau County despite the fact that Laveman did not have the appropriate qualifications and certifications. For years, County Executive Laura Curran and the Democratic Minority on the Legislature have argued for a politically appointed assessor, on the basis that the appointee would have assessing experience and appropriate certifications. Laveman has neither.
Had the override succeeded, a referendum would have been on the November 2021 ballot to allow the public to decide if they wanted the assessor to be elected office or political appointee. If the referendum passed, the primaries and election for the position would have been in June of 2022.
“After the mistakes and errors that have plagued the reassessment process and resulted in tax increases to 65% of homeowners, the right decision would have been to allow Nassau residents to decide if they wanted an assessor who can be held accountable by the people,” said Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello. “The Minority’s decision to support the county executive’s political appointee denies the public a choice in the matter. We will continue to fight for the people of Nassau County, and work to make the county executive’s reassessment more fair, accurate, and transparent.
Nassau County previously had an elected assessor, but the position was changed to a political appointee in a referendum in 2008. Since then, the assessor has been an appointed political position made by the county executive with the approval of the County Legislature. Under County Executive Curran, the county assessor has evaded questions and concerns or residents and the public regarding reassessment. The administration’s failures resulted in residents and legislators bringing lawsuits to compel the administration to provide needed information about how properties are being assessed and tax impacts. Newsday has reported that 65% of Nassau residents will see a tax increase as a result of the county executive’s reassessment.